About The Author
A Network Health Expert
At Network Health, we understand you may have questions and concerns about the coronavirus. Below you will find useful information about the virus as well as tips for staying healthy. You may also visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html to learn more.
Effective March 17, 2020, the Network Health offices are closed to all guests. We are still available to answer your questions via phone, email and member portal.
March 13, 2020 Update
- On March 12, Governor Tony Evers declared a public health emergency in response to the coronavirus. The governor signed an executive order directing the Department of Health Services to “take all necessary and appropriate measures to prevent and respond” to incidents of the disease.
- The order authorizes the activation of the Wisconsin National Guard as necessary and appropriate. The emergency allows Wisconsin to use state money to support local health departments, including costs related to quarantine and isolation.
- In order to do our part and ensure our highest risk populations stay healthy through social distancing, effective March 13, we are canceling all member events for the next 30 days.
- We encourage our members to contact our customer service department by calling the phone number listed on the back of their member ID card.
- The secure member portal at login.networkhealth.com is another great resource for managing health insurance needs.
General Information About the Coronavirus
What is coronavirus?
A coronavirus is a large family of viruses which may cause illness in people and/or animals.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the recent outbreak. Because it is new, it is sometimes referred to as a “novel coronavirus.”
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, dry cough and difficulty breathing. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.
These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has information about the coronavirus at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html. Please contact your provider if you have a fever, cough, difficulty breathing or other symptoms of respiratory illness.
What should I do if I think I might have the coronavirus?
If you have symptoms of the coronavirus—unless it is an emergency—we recommend you call your personal doctor before going to his or her office to discuss your symptoms and get further direction.
What can members do to protect themselves and others?
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- Protect yourself just like you would for any other infectious disease, such as the flu.
- The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of respiratory diseases, including the below.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick; maintain a distance of at least three feet from people who are coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- When washing hands, do so for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with the bend of an elbow or tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Stay home if feeling unwell.
Do antibiotics prevent or treat the coronavirus?
No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, they only work on bacterial infections. Coronavirus is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work.
Is there a vaccine, drug or treatment for the coronavirus?
No, there is currently no vaccine or specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat the coronavirus.
What is Network Health doing to make sure I do not experience any interruption in service?
We have detailed plans for maintaining our ability to service member needs in the event of a major disruption from any cause, including the coronavirus.
Is a lab test to detect the coronavirus covered?
Network Health will waive out-of-pocket costs for the lab test where allowed within state and federal law. It’s important to note that while the cost of the test may be waived, you will still be responsible for the amount you typically pay for an office visit or urgent care visit.
Where can I get tested or get medical advice about the coronavirus?
- You can contact your personal doctor, Wisconsin Department of Health Services at dhs.wisconsin.gov/outbreaks/index.htm, Ascension, Froedtert or visit the CDC’s website at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
- If you are feeling mildly ill, call your doctor before seeking medical treatment.
- He or she may be able to give you advice on how to treat your symptoms at home, which would reduce the number of people you expose.
- If you or someone you’re caring for is short of breath, minimally responsive, looks blue or ashen call 911.
- Providers will prioritize who is tested. Here is some of the criteria that will be used.
- Patients with signs and symptoms of the coronavirus (such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing) and no other explanation for symptoms.
- High risk patients (individuals with underlying health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, cancer or heart disease, age ≥ 65, residing in a long-term care facilities, etc.).
- Patients with known or suspected contact (direct contact with a known case of the coronavirus, travel history to a high-risk geographic area or healthcare worker with known exposure) within the past 14 days.
- If your provider determines you need a test, they will work with you on what to do next.
- Typically, that means your doctor will collect a sample via swabbing the nose and throat before sending to a state-regulated lab.
Can members get an early refill on medications?
- Yes, all Network Health members can get a 90-day supply of their medications if the following conditions are met.
- The prescription order has sufficient refills remaining. If needed, ask the pharmacist to request additional refills from your prescriber.
- The requirements for taking these medications imposed by the medication prescriber are met.
- This applies to our entire pharmacy network, including states outside Wisconsin.
How can members get/receive their medications?
- Commercial and Medicare members can get their early refills via retail location or mail order.
- HIX members must use mail order to get a 90-day supply of medication.
- Are medical benefits or prescription coverage changing as a result of the concern about the virus?
- At this time, no changes are anticipated to member medical or pharmacy benefits. We are monitoring the situation closely and will update our information and policy if the situation changes.
MDLIVE® Virtual Visits
Getting medical advice using a virtual visit provides many benefits if you are experiencing non-emergency symptoms. Virtual visits limit your exposure to illness from others and limits the spread of any illness you may have. For more information MDLIVE, including the illnesses they treat and instructions for logging in, visit our Getting Care Quickly page.
Please note, due to increased activity, MDLIVE wait times are longer than usual. If you prefer not to wait on hold, MDLIVE gives you the option to receive a call back.
Tips For Staying Well – Keep Your Distance
- In general, maintain at least six feet between yourself and anyone who is coughing, sneezing or exhibiting signs of illness. When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, and become exposed to the virus. Other tips you may want to consider minimizing the risk of spread of the virus.
- Perform tasks online where possible (such as banking and grocery shopping).
- Do your grocery shopping less frequently and during non-peak hours. Stock up on essentials and non-perishable goods so that you do not have to return to the store as frequently. Many grocery stores provide disinfectant wipes to clean the cart handle and your hands after touching surfaces others have touched.
- Keep a supply of hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes in your car to clean hands after performing errands (like pumping gas).
- Avoid being in close proximity to people who are exhibiting symptoms, such as coughing or sneezing.
- Consider postponing non-essential personal care appointments.
- Obtain prescriptions and other medical supplies in case you do catch the virus.
- Avoid sports and family or social events with large groups of people. Consider watching sports on television and visiting by phone, video conferencing, instant messaging, social media or email rather than getting together with friends and family in person.
- Rather than going to the gym, work out outside or in your own home. If you do go to the gym, avoid locker rooms or other areas of congregation and consider using disinfecting wipes to clean your hands and the surfaces you touch.
- Evaluate meetings for organizations in which you are involved to see if they can be postponed.
For our Provider Partners
Additional information about medications, lab tests and codes can be found here.