Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 testing is free and easy. If you think you have been exposed, get tested.

To learn about a test site near you, please call or visit your primary care doctor – or contact Priority Partners customer service at 1-800-654-9728, option 4, for assistance.

Appointments are encouraged, but not required. Medicaid member card required.

 

Priority Partners is tracking the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely. We want to make sure you have up-to-date information, know what to expect, and know how to care for your own and your family’s health.

Please visit coronavirus.jhu.edu for the latest COVID-19 news, health and safety guidelines, and easy instructions for how to protect yourself.

Maryland is under a state of emergency in response to the spread of COVID-19. To stay updated on the changing situation in Maryland, please visit coronavirus.maryland.gov.

Coronavirus and Your Benefits

COVID-19 Vaccine

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two COVID-19 vaccines. These vaccines are safe for a diverse set of adults and are effective at preventing you from getting seriously ill with COVID-19. These vaccines are a critical step in slowing the spread of the disease. Initial doses of the vaccines are being made available to priority groups. As greater supplies become available, the vaccine will be offered to more of the public. Priority Partners encourages members to receive the vaccine when it is available to them to protect themselves, protect the most vulnerable, and keep the health care system and essential businesses running.

COVID-19 Vaccine Coverage

Priority Partners members will pay $0 for the vaccine. There will be no cost to get the vaccine.

Questions We Can Answer Now

We have put together some information to help you learn about the vaccines. For the most complete and up-to-date information, use the CDC, FDA and state health departments.

What COVID-19 vaccines have been approved?

There are two COVID-19 vaccines that are approved and are in use. A third vaccine is in clinical trials.

  • Pfizer
    • Approved and in use
    • Two doses, three weeks apart
    • Pfizer reports vaccine is approximately 95% effective at preventing both mild and severe symptoms of COVID-19
  • Moderna
    • Approved and in use
    • Two doses, four weeks apart
    • Moderna reports vaccine is approximately 95% effective at preventing both mild and severe symptoms of COVID-19

Learn more about the approved vaccines.
 
When will I be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Maryland is vaccinating residents at a faster rate, but the supply remains limited: the state only receives about 10,000 doses per day. States are prioritizing the vaccines by risk level based on CDC guidance. Maryland is in Phase 1C—eligible individuals include adults age 65-74 and essential workers in certain services.

Level 1A

  • Healthcare workers, residents and staff or nursing homes, first responders, public safety, corrections

Level 1B

  • Assisted living, other congregate services, adults age 75 and older, education and continuity of government.

Level 1C

  • Adults age 65-74, and essential workers in lab services, agriculture, manufacturing, postal service, etc.

Level 2

  • Adults age 16-64 at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness due to comorbidities, essential workers in critical utilities, transportation, food services, etc.

Level 3

  • General population, including healthy adults age 16-64

Please talk to your health care provider or pharmacy about when you may be able to receive the vaccine. When the vaccine is available to you, make sure to follow all instructions you receive, including timing of a second dose, as required.

Learn more about vaccine priority groups in Maryland.

Where will I be able to get the vaccine?

Maryland has more than 100 vaccination providers, including Walmart, Giant, and Martin’s stores. As February begins, there will be 51 retail pharmacies providing vaccinations statewide, including the addition of select Safeway and Rite Aid locations. The state is also opening mass vaccination sites. Find a vaccine provider in your area. Priority Partners members can receive the COVID-19 vaccine from an in-network or out-of-network provider at a $0 cost share.

Are the vaccines safe?

The FDA has a vaccine safety system. The COVID-19 vaccines passed this system and also passed clinical trials. Learn more about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Will the vaccine make me sick?

Some people who got the vaccine experienced:

  • Injection-site pain
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Chills

These side effects are normal. They mean that your body is building protection. They may impact your day-to-day activities, but should go away in a few days. The vaccine will not give you COVID-19. Learn more about the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Will I need to wear a mask after I get vaccinated?

Until—and even after—you get the vaccine, please wear a face mask and stay six feet away from others in public. Continue to wash your hands frequently and clean surfaces in your home.

Read the CDC’s answer to this question and more.

COVID-19 Testing

  • Testing for COVID-19 is covered with an in-network or out-of-network provider.
  • Members will have no cost-shares (copayments, co-insurance and deductibles) for COVID-19 testing or visits that result in COVID-19 testing.
  • Prior authorizations waived for COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 testing related services.

Prescriptions

  • Time restriction on refill removed to allow members to receive a refill of their medication.

Visit COVID-19 – Frequently Asked Pharmacy Questions or our pharmacy page to learn more about your prescription coverage.

Telehealth

  • Telehealth expanded to allow for members to receive services from their home.
  • Members have no copayment or cost shares for telemedicine.

Getting Back to Care During COVID-19

Many people have avoided going to the doctor during the COVID-19 pandemic. Preventive and routine care is still critical for your overall health. Doctors are seeing more patients in person again. If you have been delaying care or have not been able to see your primary care doctor in a while, you should call to set up an appointment. Ask what preventive care you may be due for. Or set up a well-visit to discuss any screenings or routine care that you need.

Doctor offices are taking extra steps to ensure that offices are clean and patients and staff are safe. If you do not feel comfortable having an in-person appointment, you can use telehealth. With audio and video calls, you can still have many services. See the information on this page about how Priority Partners covers telehealth.

Prevention

There is no vaccine for the coronavirus at this time, but you can take steps to help keep yourself and others safe. Follow these tips to prevent infection:

Social and Physical Distancing:

  • Avoid hugs, handshakes, and crowds.
  • If you feel sick, stay home.
  • If your children are sick, keep them at home.
  • If someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19, keep everyone in the house at home.
  • If you are an older person, stay home and away from other people.
  • If you are at higher risk of severe illness, stay home and away from other people.

As with any illness, call your doctor if you are feeling unwell. You should also call your doctor if you have symptoms of coronavirus—fever, cough and trouble breathing—or if you think you may have been exposed to the virus.

Proper Handwashing:

Clean hands save lives! This simple step is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially:
    • Before eating
    • After going to the bathroom
    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • When you can’t get to soap and water, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If someone is sick at home, wash your hands before and after caring for them.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Our priority remains to ensure that you have access to the health care you need. We will continue to update our website with information that can help you stay healthy, or – in case you get sick – help you get the right care.

Health Information Library

Read more coronavirus (COVID-19) articles from our Health Information Library.

 

Community Resources

During this time, you may need extra support. Use these guides to find what you and your family need:

  • Read updates for Maryland, news from Governor Hogan, rules and guidelines for staying safe, ways to get help, and ways you can help your community.
  • With Marylanders staying home, many people are struggling. Local resources offer free and reduced cost food, housing, childcare and much more. Find help near you.
  • The Johns Hopkins Children’s Center has a list of resources for families. Find help with needs including food, housing, utilities, physical and mental health, childcare, and resources for immigrants.