about the 2019 novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is now
headline news. This new strain of viral respiratory illness was
first identified in Wuhan, China, but has since spread to other
areas of the world, including the United States. Scientists are
working to better understand the virus and answer questions about
its severity and duration and how easily it can be transmitted
Coverage for COVID-19 diagnostic testing
Medica has announced a coverage change related to the diagnostic
testing for COVID-19 that follow guidelines issued through the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and state health departments.
Medica will waive co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles related
to COVID-19 testing for all fully insured group, individual and
Medicare members. Self-insured employers will have an opportunity
to also waive fees related to the testing of COVID-19. This
change is effective immediately.
To help limit the spread of COVID-19, Medica provides coverage
for virtual care or telehealth services, often a more convenient
way to access health care services from home. When appropriate,
members are encouraged to utilize virtual care benefits.
The health and well-being of members is a priority and Medica
will continue to monitor the status of COVID-19 and its impact on
New form of a common virus
"Coronavirus is the name of a family of viruses that we've known
about for a long time. In fact, a form of it causes about 30% of
cases of the common cold. But this strain is new and there is
still much to learn about it," explained John Piatkowski, M.D.,
Medica's Senior Medical Director.
How to protect yourself
"The best defense against any type of viral illness is to avoid
being exposed to it. The infectious disease experts who are
tracking coronavirus recommend the same everyday precautions you
already use to avoid catching a cold or the flu," said Dr.
Piatkowski. These include:
Wash your hands
thoroughly - and often - with soap and water. If soap and
water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least
your eyes, nose and mouth.
Cover your cough
or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
contact with people who are sick.
Stay at home when
you are sick.
Both the CDC and MDH offer helpful information on COVID-19 and
related viral illnesses: