Coronavirus Updates

CoronavirusUpdate as of November 16, 2020:

The State Health Plan continues to work with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC), CVS Caremark and UnitedHealthcare to ensure you have benefits in place and remove any barriers to needed care.

For Members on the 80/20 Plan, 70/30 Plan and High Deductible Health Plan:

The State Health Plan will be extending the following COVID-19 benefits:

COVID-19 Testing, Treatment & Tobacco Attestation

  • The Plan is waiving the cost of treatment (medical treatment only) for members diagnosed with COVID-19, including associated deductibles, copayments and coinsurance. Any medications prescribed to treat COVID-19 will be subject to the copay/coinsurance. This waiver is in effect until March 31, 2021.
  • The Plan is waiving the cost associated with the testing of COVID-19 regardless of site of service (where you receive the test) to ensure there are no cost barriers to testing. This waiver is in effect until the federal CARES Act requirement expires.
  • CVS Pharmacy offers drive-through, self-swab COVID-19 testing at select North Carolina CVS Pharmacy locations. Members must register in advance to schedule an appointment and follow instructions provided during registration process.
  • The Plan is waiving the copay for in-person and virtual Primary Care Provider (PCP) visits to screen for COVID-19. Screening visits will not be subject to your deductible or coinsurance, even if your deductible has not been met. This waiver is in effect until the federal CARES Act requirement expires.

As a reminder, many providers offer tele-health or virtual visits. These types of visits are covered under your Plan benefits and this will remain in effect until June 30, 2021. The applicable copay for a PCP office visit will apply. If you are outside of North Carolina, please confirm with your provider as each state may have different rules regarding tele-health services. 

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has recently provided guidance for those planning to travel or attend family gatherings over the holidays. This guidance includes having a screening COVID-19 test prior to travel or attending family gatherings. Through December 31, 2020, the Plan will cover COVID-19 tests without a provider’s order.

For UnitedHealthcare (UHC) Medicare Advantage Members:

  • There will be no cost to members for the treatment of COVID-19 through December 31, 2020.
  • There will be no cost to you for the COVID-19 test. If you think you have been exposed to the virus, contact your Primary Care Provider. Copays and coinsurance are also waived for visits associated with the COVID-19 testing, regardless if care is furnished in physician office, urgent care or ER.
  • Telehealth visits related to COVID-19 testing are covered at 100% through December 31, 2020.
  • Through December 31, 2020, there will be no cost for in-network, non-COVID-19 telehealth visits for members.
  • If you need an early prescription refill, you may request one through your pharmacy. Look at your current supply of medications, as well as what you might need in the near future, to decide if you should refill early. Check to see if home delivery is an option with local pharmacy or use Optum Home Delivery through UHC.
  • Please note there is a $0 copayment for each Medicare covered Virtual Doctor visit and a $20 copayment for each Virtual Behavioral Visit. You may use Virtual Visit through your computer or a mobile device like a tablet or a smart phone any time, day or night. To find a list of participating Virtual Visit providers or Virtual Behavioral Visit providers, go to If you have questions, especially about where to get care or making sure you get your prescriptions if you are at risk, please call Customer Service at 866-747-1014.
  • UHC is also offering free emotional support for those who feel extra stress or fear due to COVID-19. You can call the Emotional-Support Help Line from Optum at 866-342-6892, TTY 711, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • For the most up-to-date information from UnitedHealthcare, please visit us online or visit the CDC website.

All Members

Plan members are advised to follow the same precautions as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

The Plan continues to monitor the ongoing developments around this virus. If other precautions or actions are warranted, additional information will be communicated to Plan members via email and posted on the Plan’s website. You can view a recording of our member webinar, "Update on Your State Health Plan Benefits and COVID-19", by clicking here.

What to Know about COVID-19 Contact Tracing

If you've been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you may be contacted by a contact tracer or public health worker from your state or local health department in an effort to help slow the spread of the disease. Here's what to know if you get a call:

  • A contact tracer may call to let you know you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. All information you share with a contact tracer, like who you've been in contact with and your recent whereabouts, is confidential.
  • You may be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. This means staying home, monitoring your health, and maintaining social distance from others at all times.
  • You may be asked to monitor your health and watch for symptoms of COVID-19. Notify your doctor if you develop symptoms, and seek medical care if your symptoms worsen or become severe.

You can find more information here from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Be aware of scammers pretending to be COVID-19 contact tracers. Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for your Medicare number or financial information. If someone calls and asks for personal information, like your Medicare number, hang up and report it to 1-800-MEDICARE.

Additional COVID Resources

  • For more details and updates, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
  • For the most current information on testing and testing resources, visit NC DHHS.
  • For the most current recommendations regarding infection prevention, therapeutic options and other topics, visit the CDC website.

Previous updates:

Press Release, July 21, 2020: State Health Plan Extends COVID-19 Cost Waivers

Press Release, June 4, 2020: State Health Plan Extends Waivers For COVID-19 Test, Treatment Costs to July 31

Member Alert, June 1, 2020: COVID-19 Update - CVS Pharmacy Provides Drive-Through COVID-19 Testing

Member Alert, May 26, 2020: Update on Your State Health Plan Benefits and COVID-19

Member Alert, April 2, 2020: State Health Plan to Waive Costs Associated with COVID-19

Member Alert, April 2, 2020: COVID-19 Update for UnitedHealthcare Members

Member Alert, March 25, 2020: Update on Your State Health Plan Benefits and COVID-19

Member Alert, March 13, 2020: State Health Plan Board Approves Emergency Authority to Respond to COVID-19