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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Health Plan Members - Get Rewarded for Vaccination

Help Us Stop the Spread of COVID-19 and You Can Get Rewarded! Graphic Icon

MHS Health and Network Health Plan members: Call us to help schedule your vaccine appointment.  You can earn $20 when you're fully vaccinated! 

  • You must be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine (ages 12 and older)
  • We must schedule your vaccine appointment(s) for you at a location that is close to you. 
  • Get a $20 Walmart gift card when you've been fully vaccinated. 
    • Fully vaccinated means getting two vaccine doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Only one vaccine dose is required for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Get $20 when you're fully vaccinated! Call 1-844-908-0681 to learn how.

We Can Schedule Your Vaccine Appointment

COVID-19 vaccines are available in many places. Find a vaccine provider at vaccines.gov.

  • You can schedule an appointment at a pharmacy or clinic. 
  • Stop by a walk-in vaccine clinic near your home.
  • MHS Health can help you find a vaccine provider near you. We can even schedule your vaccine appointment!

Call us to help schedule your vaccine appointment. 1-844-908-0681
We are open Monday­ through Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. 

MHS Health Wisconsin collaborated with Dr. Aronica Williams, Family Medicine physician and Chief Medical Officer at Milwaukee Health Services, Inc., to address the myths and facts about the COVID-19 vaccine and the importance of getting vaccinated to protect yourself and your loved ones.

COVID-19 Resources

View information on COVID-19 specific services and relief programs, including resources in your area.

Get COVID-19 Assistance

What you need to know about COVID-19

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new disease that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person to person. People of all ages can be infected. Older adults and people with pre-existing medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease may be more likely to become severely ill if infected. Many details about this disease are still unknown, such as treatment options, how the virus works, and the total impact of the illness.

There is now a vaccine available that will give you the best chance of protecting yourself and your loved ones from getting COVID-19 in the future. Getting vaccinated will help put an end to this pandemic. It is free to you. MHS Health Wisconsin can help you find a vaccine provider near you. We can even help you schedule your vaccine appointment. Call our Appointment Unit at 1-844-908-0681, Monday­-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. 

Read the sections below to learn more about COVID-19 and the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine. 

On July 23, 2020, HHS Secretary Alex Azar renewed the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). This extends flexibilities and funding tied to the PHE to continue for another 90 days. 

With this renewal the various testing, screening, billing, and telehealth coverages that were implemented in response to the COVID-19 PHE earlier this year will be extended to our members. This extension will go through late October, until the PHE is either terminated or extended again. This extension does not affect coverages that had already been made effective through December 31, 2020. 

Do you have any questions about this extension or the covered benefits impacted by it? Please contact Member Services.

What is the coronavirus?
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that is caused by a new virus called a coronavirus, which has become a public health emergency. The number of cases continue to increase nationally and globally.

What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of coronavirus include mild to severe respiratory symptoms. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, and lower respiratory illness. COVID-19 can be contagious before a person begins showing symptoms.

What else causes similar symptoms?
Influenza (the flu), a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza viruses (Type A and Type B), has high activity in the United States in the Fall/Winter months. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine annually.

I may have symptoms. What do I do?
If you have been exposed or begin showing symptoms of the virus or flu, contact your healthcare provider or health department immediately.

Protect yourself and your community.
We all have a role to play in protecting our communities and families from the spread of coronavirus. It is similar to other communicable viruses. Follow these tips to prevent infection.

  • Get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are able. 
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizing rub (must contain at least 60 percent alcohol).
  • Wear a mask when in public and when around others who do not live in your home.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze by coughing/sneezing into your elbow.
  • Promptly dispose of tissues in a wastebasket after use.
  • Clean public surfaces thoroughly.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Get a flu vaccine every year.

Are there strategies for coping with the COVID-19 pandemic?
Worry and anxiety can rise about the spread of COVID-19. Concern for friends and family who live in places where COVID-19 is spreading or the progression of the disease is natural.

  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate.
  • Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships and a sense of hope and positive thinking.
  • Share the facts about COVID-19 and the actual risk to others. People who have returned from areas of ongoing spread more than 14 days ago and do not have symptoms of COVID-19 do not put others at risk.

For more information, see the CDC’s suggestions for mental health and coping during COVID-19.

The symptoms of coronavirus include mild to severe respiratory symptoms. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, and lower respiratory illness. COVID-19 can be contagious before a person begins showing symptoms.

What is the COVID-19 vaccine?
There is now a vaccination available that will give you the best chance of protecting yourself and your loved ones from getting COVID-19 in the future. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses (shots) to be given a few weeks apart. You will get a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card that will help you keep track of which vaccine you received and when to get a second dose. It is important to get both doses.

Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine?
As of May 12, 2021, the CDC approved vaccination eligibility for individuals age 12 and older. The CDC recommends everyone 12 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect against COVID-19. Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic. Getting your child or teen vaccinated can bring you one step closer to enjoying the activities you miss. Children 12 years and older are able to get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine at this time.

Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
MHS Health can help you find a vaccine provider near you. Call our Appointment Unit at 1-844-908-0681, Monday­-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. We have interpreters if you need one.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services also has a Map of Vaccine Providers.

Is the vaccine safe? 
COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in large clinical trials. The vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration’s standards for safety, effectiveness, and quality to support use.

Will there be any side effects when I get the vaccine?
You may feel sick after your first or second dose of the vaccine. You could develop a fever, headache, or body aches. This is a normal response. It is important to know that it is impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The vaccines currently in use and others being developed do not contain a live virus.

Do I have to pay for my vaccine? Or get prior authorization?
The COVID-19 vaccine is free to you. You do not need to get a prior authorization for your vaccine.

Am I required to get my COVID-19 vaccine?
While it is not a requirement, getting your COVID-19 vaccine will give you the best chance of protecting yourself and your loved ones from getting COVID-19 in the future.

I already had COVID-19. Should I still get the vaccine?
Even if you have already had COVID-19, you should still get the vaccine.  It may be possible to be infected more than once, so getting the vaccine is a safe choice.

Can my child get the vaccine?
CDC recommends everyone 12 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect against the virus. Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic. Getting your child or teen vaccinated can bring you one step closer to enjoying the activities you miss. Children 12 years and older are able to get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine at this time.

Although fewer children have been infected with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can:

  • Be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Get sick from COVID-19.
  • Spread COVID-19 to others.

For more information about COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens, talk with your child's provider or visit CDC.gov

I’m pregnant. Should I get the vaccine?
According to the CDC, people who are pregnant may choose to be vaccinated. If you have questions about getting the vaccine, it is recommended to discuss with your doctor to make an informed decision.

When I get the vaccine, can I stop wearing a mask or social distancing?
As of May 13, 2021, the CDC has updated the guidelines related to wearing masks and social distancing for fully vaccinated individuals. This does not apply to healthcare settings. 

  • Resume activities without wearing masklly distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, ruls or physicaes and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. Visit CDC.gov for additional details.

Mask wearing continues to be an important COVID-19 mitigation strategy in public transportation, schools, healthcare settings, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and other settings where additional regulations still exist, regardless of vaccination status. Wisconsin Department of Health Services is currently working on updating webpages and publications to include updated guidance for fully vaccinated people. Visit Wisconsin DHS to learn more.

What is the status of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine?
As of April 23, 2021, the FDA and CDC have lifted the pause on the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine. The vaccine was paused on April 13 after reports of six cases of a rare type of blood clot. The FDA determined the vaccine’s benefits outweigh the potential risks.

  • Understand that these severe events are incredibly rare.
  • Monitor for the following symptoms up to three weeks after your vaccination: severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath. Symptoms associated with these severe events have occurred 6 to 13 days after receiving the vaccine.
  • If you develop any of these symptoms, contact your health care provider.
  • Use the v-safe program to report your symptoms.

What does fully vaccinated mean?
According to the CDC, in general, people are considered fully vaccinated: 

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

If you don’t meet these requirements, regardless of your age, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.

Why do I need to keep my COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card?
Your vaccination card has information on when and where you received your vaccine as well as other helpful information related to the COVID-19 vaccine. Keep your card in a safe place! You may also visit the Wisconsin Immunization Registry for an electronic version. When taking pictures or posting selfies about getting your COVID-19 vaccine, do not post photos of your vaccination card online so your health information is protected.

I lost my COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. What should I do now?
Please call the place where you received your first dose. Ask them about your vaccine information and verify your second appointment/location.

I am due for my second dose. Do I have to go to the same provider who gave me my first dose?
The place where you got your first shot should have scheduled an appointment for you to receive the second shot. You can receive your second shot from another place by presenting your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.

Can I get a ride to my vaccine appointments?
Your Non-emergency Medical Transportation benefit allows you to schedule a ride to your appointment. Call the state’s transportation provider, MTM, as soon as you confirm you have an appointment, even if it is the same day. Call MTM at 1-866-907-1493 (TTY 711). Please have the following information ready:

  • Your ForwardHealth ID card
  • The address of where you will get your vaccine

Can I travel once I am fully vaccinated?
The CDC’s travel guidance for mask wearing remains unchanged. Mask wearing, regardless of vaccination status, continues to be an important COVID-19 mitigation strategy in public transportation into, within, or out of the United States.

COVID-19 is still spreading across our Wisconsin communities. Stay home if you are sick or think you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. We recommend Wisconsinites postpone all travel until you are fully vaccinated.

The CDC has provided the following travel recommendations:

Does my plan cover COVID-19 testing/screening/treatment services?
Yes. When medically necessary diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment is ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider, we will cover the cost of medically necessary COVID-19 tests, screenings, associated physician’s visit(s) and/or treatment. If applicable, your plan’s copayment, coinsurance and/or deductible cost-sharing will be waived for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment.

Is prior authorization required for COVID-19 testing, screening services and/or treatment under my plan coverage?
No. We will not require prior authorization, prior certification, prior notification and/or step therapy protocols for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services, and/or treatment when medically necessary services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider.

Where may I receive COVID-19 testing/screening/treatment services under my plan coverage?
Medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment and the associated physician’s visit will be covered when ordered, referred and/or performed in the following In-Network locations:

  • Physician’s/Practitioner’s Office
  • Independent Laboratory/Diagnostic Facility   
  • Urgent Care Facility
  • Emergency Department Facility

Are you unsure if you have been exposed to or at-risk of being infected with COVID-19? Schedule a virtual care visit with a provider. It is a good option for non-urgent care to limit potential exposure in a physician’s office or other healthcare facility. 

Will I be responsible for any out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing/screening/treatment services?
No. We will cover medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment at no charge to you, when such services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider. If applicable, your plan’s copayment, coinsurance and/or deductible cost-sharing will be waived for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment, along with the associated physician’s visit.

If I need treatment for coronavirus, is that covered by my plan?
Any medically necessary treatment related to COVID-19 would be considered a covered benefit. We are committed to ensuring access to COVID-19 treatment services in accordance with federal and state law.

Will I be able to refill my prescriptions before the refill date?
Yes, members will be able to refill prescriptions prior to the refill date.

 

If you have been exposed or begin showing symptoms of the virus or flu, contact your healthcare provider or health department immediately. 

[TELEHEALTH VENDOR] is a convenient way for [HEALTH PLAN] members to obtain telehealth services. You will receive [24-hour] access to in-network healthcare providers for non-emergency medical issues. Get medical advice, a diagnosis or a prescription by video or phone. For more information about [HEALTH PLAN] services, please [visit/call] [WEBSITE and/or PHONE NUMBER].

We all have a role to play in protecting our communities and families from the spread of coronavirus. It is similar to other communicable viruses. You can also follow these tips to prevent infection:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizing rub (must contain at least 60 percent alcohol).
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze by coughing/sneezing into your elbow.
  • Promptly dispose of tissues in a wastebasket after use.
  • Clean public surfaces thoroughly.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Get a flu vaccine.

Yes. When medically necessary diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment is ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider, we will cover the cost of medically necessary COVID-19 tests, screenings, associated physician’s visit(s) and/or treatment. If applicable, your plan’s copayment, coinsurance and/or deductible cost-sharing will be waived for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment.

No. We will not require prior authorization, prior certification, prior notification and/or step therapy protocols for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services, and/or treatment when medically necessary services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider.

Medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment and the associated physician’s visit will be covered when ordered, referred and/or performed in the following In-Network locations:

  • Physician’s/Practitioner’s Office
  • Independent Laboratory/Diagnostic Facility   
  • Urgent Care Facility
  • Emergency Department Facility

Are you unsure if you have been exposed to or at-risk of being infected with COVID-19? Schedule a virtual care visit with a provider. It is a good option for non-urgent care to limit potential exposure in a physician’s office or other healthcare facility. 

No. We will cover medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment at no charge to you, when such services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider. If applicable, your plan’s copayment, coinsurance and/or deductible cost-sharing will be waived for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment, along with the associated physician’s visit.

Any medically necessary treatment related to COVID-19 would be considered a covered benefit. We are committed to ensuring access to COVID-19 treatment services in accordance with federal and state law.

Yes, members will be able to refill prescriptions prior to the refill date.

Worry and anxiety can rise about the spread of COVID-19. Concern for friends and family who live in places where COVID-19 is spreading or the progression of the disease is natural.

  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate.
  • Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships and a sense of hope and positive thinking.
  • Share the facts about COVID-19 and the actual risk to others. People who have returned from areas of ongoing spread more than 14 days ago and do not have symptoms of COVID-19 do not put others at risk.
  • For more information, see the CDC’s suggestions for mental health and coping during COVID-19

Tip #1: Clean your phone right now

Drop what you’re doing! Clean your phone and case right now! You can use disinfecting wipes or sprays.

Why is this important?

It’s easy to say “I can always clean my phone later”. If you do it right now, you won’t forget! We’ve also told you how so you don’t have to figure that out on your own.

Tip #2: Use an alarm

Set a phone alarm called “clean phone.” Set an alarm on your phone called “clean phone” once per day. When it goes off, clean your phone right then and there!

Why is this important?

Even if you just cleaned your phone right now, you’re going to forget later! That’s why reminders are so important. You’ll have to clean.

For more information about cleaning and disinfecting visit the CDC Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Home page.

Protect yourself and those around you. Please consider the following before returning to adult day services.

  • If you feel sick, stay home.
    • Avoid public places.
    • Contact your health care provider.
  • Practice healthy habits.
    • Wash your hands after touching public surfaces.
    • Avoid touching your face.
    • Sneeze or cough into a tissue. You can also use the inside of your elbow.
    • Clean frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.
    • Use a face mask while in public.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and frequent hand washing
    • Your provider may require a face covering and gloves during a visit. They may also require frequent hand washing.
    • Your service plan may be updated based on how you tolerate these changes.
  • This has been a stressful time. If it’s affecting your mental health, you may need to speak to someone.

As a MHS Health Wisconsin member, you have access to health professionals 24/7. You can call the 24/7 Nurse Advice Line for non-emergencies. For more information about this service, call us at 1-888-713-6180.

It’s important to change how we use public spaces. Consider whether you need to touch certain objects and surfaces. Be sure to wipe public items before and after you touch them.

Things to be aware of while at your adult day center.

We have all had to make changes to reduce the spread of COVID-19. To reopen, we will need to continue these safe practices.

  • Social distancing
    • Stay 6 feet away from others when going into a shared space.
  • Wash your hands.
    • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Use sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available
  • Wear a face covering.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when sick.
  • Clean frequently touched items and surfaces.

It’s important to follow state and local guidance as we reopen. This will help you to change your plan as situations change.

Make sure your provider has a plan to maintain a safe environment.

When you return home from your adult day center.

We should think about our safety and the safety of others. The following can help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

  • Disinfect “high touch” surfaces and items every day.
    • This includes personal devices and electronics.
    • Be sure to follow the cleaning product’s instructions.
  • Consider changing your clothes before entering your home.

If you cannot return to your adult day center

As a MHS Health Wisconsin member, you may have respite hours available for your caregiver. These may be used if you cannot return to your day service program. For more information, call us at 1-888-713-6180.

There are many COVID-19 resources, services, and relief programs available in your own community. 

Get COVID-19 Community Assistance