COVID-19 NATIONAL EMERGENCY & PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY ENDING
The COVID-19 National Emergency will end on May 11, 2023, but includes an additional 60-day period to extend deadlines for COBRA elections/payments, HIPAA Special Enrollment, Appeals, and member submitted Claims. These deadlines will return to normal timeframes starting July 11, 2023.
The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency will end on May 11, 2023, removing the federally mandated coverage requirements for COVID-19 testing, related services, treatments and vaccinations. A summary of changes that will begin May 12, 2023, can be found here.
Blue Medicare Advantage summary of changes that will begin May 12, 2023, can be found here.
GETTING A COVID-19 VACCINE
The CDC continues to provide updates here on authorized and recommended vaccines to prevent COVID-19. This is great news in our fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
During this time of a public health emergency, Blue KC members can get a COVID-19 vaccine at zero member cost share while the government supply is still available. Once the government supply ends, COVID-19 vaccine/boosters will be covered in accordance with the terms of the preventive and immunization benefits in the member’s Health Benefit Certificate.
When and where can I get the vaccine?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone ages 6 months and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19. Specific information about which vaccines are appropriate for different age groups can be found on the CDC website.
According to the CDC, booster shots can increase people’s protection against infection and severe outcomes and are an important public health tool to strengthen our defenses against the COVID-19 virus. You may choose which COVID-19 vaccine you receive as a booster shot. Some people may prefer the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots. Specific information about boosters – including the types of boosters, who should receive them and when to receive them – can be found on the CDC website.
There are a variety of resources available to help you obtain a vaccine.
- Visit vaccines.gov to find a vaccination provider near you.
- Text your ZIP code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233 to find vaccine locations near you in the United States.
- Contact your primary care doctor to learn your options.
Is it safe?
- The authorized vaccines available today in the U.S. have gone through the same rigorous safety assessment as all vaccines available today by the FDA. That included trials with people from diverse racial and ethnic groups. When it comes to safety, you can rest assured there have been no shortcuts.
- The COVID-19 vaccines help our immune system fight back without introducing the live virus. It does not contain the live virus and can’t infect you with COVID-19.
- Some people may experience mild side effects, but that’s a sign the COVID-19 vaccine is working. Symptoms should only last 1-2 days.
Is it effective?
- Wondering how effective the vaccine is against COVID-19? We totally get it. It’s been trialed, tested, and is truly effective
- The vaccines available in the U.S. today are safe. Across the U.S., every family and neighborhood can expect effectiveness and protection. Learn more about the available vaccines here.
Why do I need it?
- Current estimates are that at least 85% of our population will need to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Many adults have medical conditions that will prevent them from getting the vaccine even if they want it. So, it’s up to us to keep them protected by doing our part and getting the vaccine for them.
- COVID-19 carries severe health risks, and we don’t yet know how long natural immunity lasts. So, it’s recommended to get the vaccine even if you’ve already had the virus.
- It’s also safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine if you’d like to get pregnant in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Have questions about the FDA-approved vaccines? We’re here to help keep you well and well-informed. We’ll continue to monitor the COVID-19 crisis and update these FAQs accordingly.