Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and resources
Last updated: October 5, 2021
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has impacted all of us. We want to make sure you have the latest information about your benefits, you know how to receive the care you need, and you know how to find local help and resources.
Vaccines for COVID-19 have been proven to be safe and effective against the COVID-19 virus. COVID-19 vaccines do not cost you anything. You can find a vaccine site and schedule a COVID-19 vaccine by:
• Visiting vaccines.gov.
• Texting your ZIP code to GETVAX (438829).
• Calling 800-232-0233 (TTY 711) from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Central time; someone will help you make an appointment.
Activate or log in to your online account to stay up-to-date on the latest information.
Find a COVID-19 test site
Use this tool to quickly locate testing sites near you. Just enter your state and county.
Focusing on your health
These temporary changes have been put in place to make it easier for you to focus on your health and those you care about.
Right now, if you are set to renew your medical assistance benefits (Medicaid), you can wait until the emergency declaration due to COVID-19 is lifted.
If you receive health benefits from the state, they may contact you from time to time with important information. If you have moved or changed addresses, update with DHS by calling 855-889-7985.
An expanded home-delivered meals benefit is available for members who currently receive home-delivered meals as part of a qualifying waiver or other program. Learn more, including if you qualify, from the Iowa Department of Human Services.
If you have any questions about your benefits, we’re here for you. Call Member Services at 1-800-600-4441 (TTY 711) Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, or log in to your account to send us a secure message.
Receiving the care you need
See a doctor without leaving home
Telehealth is a doctor visit through video chat or over the phone. It allows you to take care of your health without having to leave home. Your plan will pay for telehealth visits with your doctor. If you cannot reach your doctor, call Nurse Line 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the number on your ID card.
Take care of your mental health
You might be feeling anxious or stressed with all of the information about COVID-19. Taking care of your mental health is more important than ever.The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers helpful resources
With LiveHealth Online, you can video chat with a doctor 24/7 from your smartphone, tablet, or computer at no cost to you. It’s an easy way to get care for you or your family anytime of the day or night without leaving home.
Psych Hub offers free online resources and videos to help you manage stress, talk to children about COVID-19, cope with job loss, and other COVID-19 challenges.
Finding resources you may need
Free or low-cost services near you
Use our Community Resource Link for local help finding food, housing and other things you might need.
Free smartphone from SafeLink Wireless®
SafeLink offers free smartphones with data, texts, and minutes to those who qualify. Use your phone to keep up with important information, use telehealth services, and stay in touch with family and friends.
Learn about the Emergency Broadband Benefit
Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccines are available now to people age 12 and up. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized several COVID-19 vaccines. They are working quickly to assess data in younger age groups. Learn more here.
Your COVID-19 vaccine does not cost you anything.
The vaccines went through the FDA’s review process meeting their standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing. Hundreds of millions of people have received the vaccine since mid-December 2020. The FDA, CDC and vaccine manufacturers continue to monitor their safety and quality. So far, serious safety problems are very rare. If you are fully vaccinated, you can go back to doing many activities you did before the pandemic.
COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. This included robust studies in adolescents. The vaccines met the FDA’s rigorous standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality.
Many children with COVID-19 have mild or no symptoms. But some children have become severely ill from COVID-19. Some have needed hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator to help them breathe. Children who have COVID-19 and no symptoms can still spread the virus to others.
To find a COVID vaccine site near you:
• Visit vaccines.gov.
• Text your ZIP code to GETVAX (438829).
• Call 800-232-0233 (TTY 711) from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Central time.
Your primary care provider can answer any questions about COVID vaccines. You can also learn more from the CDC.
If you are an Amerigroup member, you can activate your online account to receive updates on COVID-19 vaccines.
Download the Amerigroup mobile app from Google Play or the App Store
The vaccines cannot make you sick with COVID-19 because they do not contain the virus. It is normal to have mild side effects to most vaccines. This means your body is responding to the vaccine by making antibodies.
No vaccine is 100% effective against any virus, but the COVID-19 vaccines come close. In clinical trials, they were about 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 infection and reduced the risk of severe illness. The data we have today shows they are effective against variants found to date, as well.
Learn more about COVID-19
It is an airway and lung infection. It is similar to the flu.
Similar to the flu, but often more serious. Mild to severe fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, and nausea or vomiting are just some of the common symptoms. Symptoms may appear 2–14 days after being around someone who has COVID-19.
The best way to prevent infection is to get a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you. Check the CDC website for up-to-date information cdc.gov/coronavirus. If you are traveling, visit cdc.gov for the CDC’s most current guidelines.
Good health habits can also help prevent and fight COVID-19. Here are some tips:• Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth, especially if you are not vaccinated.
• Keep six feet between yourself and others.
• Washing your hands is the best way to avoid getting sick. Wash often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you cannot use soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Clean and disinfect items and surfaces you touch often with regular household cleaning spray or a wipe.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue. Then throw away the tissue.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Avoid touching your face.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Older adults, people with disabilities, and people with diabetes or who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease seem to be at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness. We will support you and help you receive the care you need.
If you are caring for someone, be sure visitors take care to avoid causing any extra risk to you or them. Get vaccinated, keep hand sanitizer by the door, and ask visitors to wash their hands. Wash your hands thoroughly and use hand sanitizer before and after touching or feeding someone, or touching any mobility devices or equipment.
You should check with state and local guidance on masking requirements. Here is what the CDC says about face coverings
Call your doctor if you develop a fever, have a cough, or have a hard time breathing. Tell them if you have been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19. Also tell them if you live in or have been to an area where the virus has spread.
Your plan will pay for telehealth visits with your doctor. If you cannot reach your doctor, call 24-hour Nurse HelpLine 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 866-864-2544 (TTY 711).
If you have a plan with us, you do not have to pay anything for the COVID-19 test or the doctor visit to get the test. The visit and test are covered whether you receive care in a doctor’s office, urgent care center, or pharmacy. You should avoid going to the emergency room for a COVID-19 test since there are many other locations that can provide you with a test. Use our testing locator to find a site near you.
No, prior authorization is not required for COVID-19 testing.
You should try to see your primary care provider or a doctor in your plan. If your doctor offers telehealth visits, your plan will pay for those, too.
We will pay for care you get from doctors outside your plan (called “out of network”) as long as the services are medically needed and there is not a plan provider available in your area.
No. If you have health benefits from us, your plan covers sick visits and tests.
Do you have medicines you take regularly? Call the Pharmacy Member Services number on your member ID card to find out about your options.
Your health is important. Try to keep taking your medicines as prescribed, and try to get your refills on time.