COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new disease that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person to person. People of all ages can be infected. Older adults and people with pre-existing medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease may be more likely to become severely ill if infected. Many details about this disease are still unknown, such as treatment options, how the virus works, and the total impact of the illness
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that is caused by a new virus called a coronavirus, which has become a public health emergency. The number of cases continue to increase nationally and globally.
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness with symptoms similar to the flu. Symptoms are typically mild to moderate, but there have been cases of severe illness and death due to the virus.
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:
- Congestion or runny nose
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Upset stomach or vomiting
This list does not include all possible symptoms. The CDC will continue to update information about symptoms as more is learned about COVID-19.
If you have been exposed or begin showing symptoms of the virus or flu, contact your healthcare provider or health department immediately.
Influenza (the flu), a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza viruses (Type A and Type B), has high activity in the United States in the Fall/Winter months. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine annually.
We all have a role to play in protecting our communities and families from the spread of coronavirus. It is similar to other communicable viruses. You can also follow these tips to prevent infection:
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizing rub (must contain at least 60 percent alcohol).
- Wear a face covering/mask when in public and/or around others who do not live in your home if you are not fully vaccinated
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze by coughing/sneezing into your elbow.
- Promptly dispose of tissues in a wastebasket after use.
- Clean public surfaces thoroughly.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid shaking hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Get a flu vaccine annually.
COVID-19 Benefits, Eligibility and Enrollment
Yes. When medically necessary diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment is ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider, we will cover the cost of medically necessary COVID-19 tests, screenings, associated physician’s visit(s) and/or treatment. If applicable, your plan’s copayment, coinsurance and/or deductible cost-sharing will be waived for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment.
Any medically necessary treatment related to COVID-19 would be considered a covered benefit. We are committed to ensuring access to COVID-19 treatment services in accordance with federal and state law.
Medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment and the associated physician’s visit will be covered when ordered, referred and/or performed in the following In-Network locations:
- Physician’s/Practitioner’s Office
- Independent Laboratory/Diagnostic Facility
- Urgent Care Facility
- Emergency Department Facility
Are you unsure if you have been exposed to or at-risk of being infected with COVID-19? Schedule a virtual care (also called Telemedicine) visit with a provider. It is a good option for non-urgent care to limit potential exposure in a physician’s office or other healthcare facility.
No. We will not require prior authorization, prior certification, prior notification and/or step therapy protocols for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services, and/or treatment when medically necessary services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider.
No. We will cover medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment at no charge to you, when such services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider. If applicable, your plan’s copayment, coinsurance and/or deductible cost-sharing will be waived for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment, along with the associated physician’s visit.
Yes, members will be able to refill prescriptions prior to the refill date.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
COVID-19 vaccines are available to everyone 5 and older. For more information visit https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines.
Don't Wait to Vaccinate
Nearly all new COVID-19 cases are people who are not fully vaccinated. Get a tested, safe and effective vaccine to protect yourself and others against hospitalization and death. Find a vaccine location near you.
There is now a vaccination available that will give you the best chance of protecting yourself and your loved ones from getting COVID-19 in the future. Some COVID-19 vaccines will have two doses a few weeks in between each shot. You will get a COVID-19 Vaccination Reminder Card that will help you keep track of which vaccine you receive and when to get a second dose, if needed. If you receive a vaccine that requires two doses, it is important to get both doses.
The vaccine is being administered to different populations in a tiered approach. When you are able to get the vaccine, call your doctor with any questions and ask when you can make an appointment with them or at your local pharmacy. Or, find out where to get your vaccine at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines or vaccinefinder.org.
While it is not a requirement, getting your COVID-19 vaccine will give you the best chance of protecting yourself and your loved ones from getting COVID-19 in the future.
Even if you have already had COVID-19, you should still get the vaccine. It may be possible to be infected more than once so getting the vaccine is a safe choice.
Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are recommended for children ages 6 months or older. The Johnson & Johnson vaccines are recommended for those ages 18 and older.
- Everyone ages 12 years and older can get 1 booster after completing their COVID-19 vaccine primary series.
Eligible for 2 boosters:
- Everyone ages 12 years and older can get a second booster after completing their first.
- People who got 2 doses (1 primary dose and 1 booster) of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
The CDC currently recommends the COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant women. If you have questions about getting the vaccine, it is recommended to discuss with your doctor to make an informed decision.
Fully vaccinated is considered two weeks past final dose, meaning the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer mRNA vaccine, or, two weeks past the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
To maximize protection from COVID-19 and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial of high transmission.
Wearing a mask is most important if you have a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated. If this applies to you or your household, you might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission in your area.
Fully vaccinated people who have come into close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to be tested 3-5 days after exposure, and to wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
A small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated will still get COVID-19 if they are exposed to the virus that causes it. These are called “vaccine breakthrough cases.” This means that while people who have been vaccinated are much less likely to get sick, it will still happen in some cases. It’s also possible that some fully vaccinated people might have infections, but not have symptoms (asymptomatic infections). Experts continue to study how common these cases are.
If you get COVID-19 after vaccination, your symptoms might be less severe.
Fully vaccinated people are much less likely to be hospitalized or die than people with similar risk factors who are not vaccinated.
The safety of the COVID-19 vaccine is a top priority! The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carefully reviews all safety data from clinical trials and authorizes emergency vaccine use only when the expected benefits outweigh potential risks. COVID-19 vaccines were tested in large clinical trials to make sure they meet safety standards.
You may run a fever after you get the vaccine. This is normal as your body builds immunity and fights off future COVID-19 exposures. You may feel sick after getting vaccinated. You could develop a fever, headache or body aches. This is your body reacting to the vaccine, which is a normal response. It is important to know that it is impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The vaccines currently in use and others being developed do not contain a live virus.
No. The COVID-19 vaccine will be at no cost to you. You do not need to get a prior authorization for your vaccine.
Please call the administering facility/provider you received your first dose from to ask about your vaccine information and verify your second appointment/location.
The provider should have scheduled a second appointment with you at the same facility when you received the first dose. However, you can receive your second dose from another provider/facility and you should present your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.
Yes. Carolina Complete Health members may receive rides to medical appointments - at no cost to you. For more information, please visit Yes. Carolina Complete Health members may receive rides to medical appointments - at no cost to you. For more information, please visit our Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Services webpage or call us at 1-833-552-3876 (TTY: 711).
You may also be able to receive transportation by contacting United Way-211 to access local community resources for transportation, which may include the Lyft Vaccine Alliance Program.
Coping with the COVID-19 outbreak?
Worry and anxiety can rise about the spread of COVID-19. Concern for friends and family who live in places where COVID-19 is spreading or the progression of the disease is natural.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate.
- Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships and a sense of hope and positive thinking.
- Share the facts about COVID-19 and the actual risk to others. People who have returned from areas of ongoing spread more than 14 days ago and do not have symptoms of COVID-19 do not put others at risk.
- For more information, see the CDC’s suggestions for mental health and coping during COVID-19
- North Carolina DHHS COVID-19 Dashboard
- Learn more about COVID-19
- Latest Updates
- Know Your Ws: Wear, Wait, Wash
- North Carolina DHHS COVID-19 FAQs (PDF) - Updated Weekly
- SlowCOVIDNC Exposure Notification App
- North Carolina DHHS Find My Testing Place Finder
- North Carolina County COVID-19 Alert System
- Case Count & Vaccination Dashboards
- Guidelines for Getting Together
- Check for Symptoms
- Face Coverings & Masks
- Learn about Contract Tracing
- Recursos en Español
- North Carolina DHHS COVID-19 Vaccine Information