Understanding COVID-19 testing and treatment coverage
At UnitedHealthcare, we're here to help you understand what's covered and how to access care. We want to help answer your questions and connect you to the resources that may help support you during this time.
Remember to visit network providers and always show your UnitedHealthcare member ID card for COVID-19-related testing, visits or treatment. Also, keep your primary care provider (PCP) informed of any COVID-19 testing results or care you might receive.
If you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have COVID-19 symptoms, call your health care provider right away. Use our online symptom checker to assess your risk for COVID-19 and get treatment options.
Virus/antigen detection and antibody testing
UnitedHealthcare strongly supports the need for reliable testing and encourages health care providers to use reliable FDA-authorized tests. A virus/antigen detection (diagnostic) test determines if a person is currently infected with COVID-19. An antibody (serology) test may determine if a person has been exposed to COVID-19, and according to the FDA, this test should not be used to diagnose a current infection.
During the national public health emergency period, currently scheduled to end Jan. 20, 2021, you will have $0 cost-share (copayment, coinsurance or deductible) for medically appropriate COVID-19 testing when ordered by a physician or health care professional for purposes of diagnosis or treatment. This coverage applies to in-network and out-of-of-network tests for Medicare Advantage, Individual and Group Market health plans. For individuals enrolled in UnitedHealthcare Community Plans, state variations and regulations may apply during this time. Benefits will be otherwise reviewed in accordance with your health plan.
Tests must be FDA-authorized to be covered without cost-sharing. FDA-authorized tests include tests approved for patient use through pre-market approval or emergency use pathways, as well as tests that are developed and administered in accordance with FDA specifications or through state regulatory approval. Be sure to ask your health care provider to order an FDA-authorized test.
If COVID-19 testing is needed for your employment, education, public health or surveillance (monitoring) purposes, UnitedHealthcare will cover the testing when required by applicable law. Benefits will be processed according to your health benefit plan, and health benefit plans generally do not cover testing for surveillance or public health purposes. We continue to monitor regulatory developments during emergency periods.
COVID-19 testing-related visits
You will have $0 cost-share (copay, coinsurance or deductible) for COVID-19 testing-related visits during the national public health emergency period, scheduled to end Jan. 20, 2021, whether the testing-related visit is in-person or a telehealth visit.
This coverage applies to in-network and out-of-of-network tests for Medicare Advantage, Individual and Group Market health plans. For individuals enrolled in UnitedHealthcare Community Plans, state variations and regulations may apply during this time. Benefits will be otherwise reviewed in accordance with the member’s health plan.
If your provider orders a COVID-19 diagnostic test for you, use our locator to find a testing center.
To help you access the COVID-19 treatment you need, UnitedHealthcare is extending cost-share waivers for our Individual, Fully-Insured Group Market and Medicare Advantage health plans, as noted below:
- Individual and Fully-Insured Group Market plans: You will have $0 cost-share (copay, coinsurance and deductible) for network visits, including a telehealth visit, for COVID-19 treatment through Dec. 31, 2020. Out-of-network cost-share waivers will end Oct. 22, 2020. After that date, coverage for out-of-network services will be determined by your benefit plan. Implementation for self-funded customers may vary.
- Medicare Advantage health plans: You will have $0 cost-share (copay, coinsurance and deductible) for in-network and out-of-network visits, including a telehealth visit, for COVID-19 treatment through Dec. 31, 2020.
- For individuals enrolled in UnitedHealthcare Community Plans: State variations and regulations may apply during this time.
If you have questions about your benefits, sign in to your health plan account or call the number on your member ID card.
Support for our highest risk members
Members who are at high risk may be prescribed self-isolation by their provider. We're here to help those members through isolation and further limit their potential exposure to the virus. The UnitedHealthcare navigation support program provides a dedicated advocate to talk with you and help guide you through the isolation process. They can help you with how to get medications, supplies, food and care. You can also talk with them to learn about available support programs.
Members can access the program by calling the phone number on their member ID card. When you call, let them know your health care provider has prescribed self-isolation.
Based on currently available information from the CDC, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Additional resources you may access during this time
We've expanded access to a number of services and resources to help support our members during the time of the national public health emergency period.
Talk to a provider from home using telehealth
UnitedHealthcare expanded access to telehealth so you can stay in the comfort of your home and get the right care. Telehealth can be used for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 health care needs. If you have an urgent dental need, you may also be able to set up a teledentistry visit. Learn about telehealth coverage and options.
Talk to a nurse
You can call the number on your member ID card to be connected with a nurse if you need help evaluating your risk or are looking for clinical advice and support related to COVID-19. You can also ask the nurse about general health care concerns.
Get your medications delivered to your home
Pharmacy delivery is available through Optum Home Delivery by signing in to your health plan account. Simply select Optum Home Delivery. Pharmacy delivery is also available through several retail pharmacies.
Take care of your emotional health
In a stressful time, it can be hard to cope. Talking to someone may help you feel better. Here are some ways to connect and take care of yourself.
- Our free 24/7 emotional support line is here for you to call any time at 866-342-6892. This Optum Help Line is staffed by professionally trained mental health experts. It is free of charge and open to anyone.
- An on-demand emotional support mobile app called Sanvello is available to many members to help you cope with stress, anxiety and depression. Eligible UnitedHealthcare members must register using their UnitedHealthcare member card.
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers 24/7 support through an online chat called Lifeline Chat. You can also call1-800-273-8255or1-800-799-4889 (TTY) for support.
- The Crisis Text Lineis a free resource available 24/7 to help youconnect with a crisis counselor. Text “Home” to 741741
Get help to understand your benefits
If you have questions about your benefits, sign in to your health plan account or call the number on your member ID card. We can help you understand your coverage, find a health care provider or connect you with a nurse.
We’re committed to keeping you up to date on COVID-19. We’re taking note of your questions and working hard to provide answers. Let us know how we’re doing.
We’re making daily updates to the site. Please check back often for the latest information.
- This date is subject to change based on federal or state guidance.
This page describes benefits we offer to all members in all states. They also include federal requirements. More benefits may be available in some states and under some plans. We have created rules and practices that may apply to some of our products at this time. The information is a summary and is subject to change. For more information, contact your account representative or call the number on your member ID card. Brands are the property of their respective owners.