COVID-19 Wellness Guide

Important Information About Insurance, Access to Healthcare, and Access to Prescriptions

General Medicare information related to COVID-19

Blue Shield information related to COVID-19

  • Blue Shield has a dedicated webpage on COVID-19 located here: https://www.bcbs.com/coronavirus-updates. Blue Shield is offering streamlined authorizations and coverage for diagnostic tests and covered services consistent with CDC guidelines for COVID – 19. Early medication refill limits are also being extended.
  • Teladoc services: Blue Shield has confirmed copays will be waived for any patient that contacts Teladoc regarding COVID-19. Even though it is not possible to obtain testing via these channels, patients seeking advice or guidance may wish to use virtual resources as their first step of investigation to limit exposure. Carrier partners recognize this potential and have made it possible to use telehealth avenues for Coronavirus purposes as another viable option, free of charge. Visit https://www.teladoc.com/ or call 1-800-Teladoc to setup an appointment or learn more.
  • Express Scripts prescription 3 month supplies: We encourage retirees to use the Smart90 program for maintenance medications at Walgreens or CVS pharmacies or ESI home delivery to always have a supply on hand. The Express Scripts Q&A explains how to obtain a 3 month supply of your medications, either by making 1 trip to the pharmacy, or via mail order.

  • All early retirees and their dependents that are enrolled on a BlueShield medical plan have access to the mail order pharmacy benefit Rx ‘N Go:
    • Complete a Pharmacy Profile Form online at www.rxngo.com or call Customer Service at (888) 697-9646 to set up an account.
    • Have your physician/licensed health care practitioner E-Scribe, phone, or fax your prescription(s) directly to Rx ‘n Go:
      • E-Scribe: use the name of Rx ‘n Go’s fulfillment pharmacy – Specialty Medical Drugstore.
      • Phone: (888) 697-9646. Must come from your physician’s office.
      • Fax: (888) 697-0646. Must come from your physician’s office.

UnitedHealthCare information related to COVID-19

  • Waiver of all member cost sharing – including copays, coinsurance and deductibles – for approved diagnostic testing for COVID-19 for all commercial insured, Medicaid, and Medicare members who may be affected by COVID-19.
  • UnitedHealthcare will cover a provider visit for COVID-19 in the same way that it covers other provider visits based on health benefits plan. Where available, we are encouraging a Virtual Visit with a provider. Virtual Visits are ideal for asking general questions. UnitedHealthcare offers the ease of a Virtual Visit through mobile devices, tablets or computers.
  • Eligible UnitedHealthcare and OptumRx members needing help obtaining an early prescription refill can call the customer care number located on the back of their medical ID card for assistance. For mail-order delivery service or any other questions related to prescriptions, members are encouraged to call the pharmacy number on the back of their ID card, or speak directly to a pharmacist.
  • Optum’s Emotional-Support Help Line is available to support anyone who may be experiencing anxiety or stress following the recent developments around COVID-19. The free service can be reached at (866) 342-6892, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is open to all.

Kaiser Permanente information related to COVID-19

  • You have many ways to get care without leaving the comfort of your home — including phone appointments and email. This allows you to still get great care while helping to address the community spread of COVID-19. If you need to come in, we’re here for you — and we’re taking every precaution to keep our facilities safe.
  • To book an in-person appointment, or if you’re concerned about your specific health condition, visit https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/get-care for your local information on appointments and 24/7 advice. If you’re a new member and haven’t selected a doctor yet, start by choosing your doctor at https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/new-members.
  • If you’re concerned about your specific health condition, call 1-833-KP4CARE (1-833-574-2273) (TTY 711) to talk to a licensed care provider 24/7. It’s important to call us first if you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or believe you’ve been exposed. Calling ahead helps us direct you to the most appropriate care, and take precautions to protect other members, patients, and employees. For mental health advice, call 1-800-900-3277 (TTY 711), 24/7.
  • It’s a good idea to fill your prescriptions by mail, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak. You can avoid standing in line at the pharmacy, and with most prescriptions you can get a 3-month supply for the price of 2 months. Sign in to https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/secure/pharmacy and select the mail order option to receive your medications in a few business days.
  • Get region-specific information from Kaiser here: https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/health-wellness/coronavirus-information

CareCounsel stands ready to serve and assist you

There has been no staffing or service reductions at CareCounsel, which is open Monday – Friday 6:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. PST, is happy to assist you with any healthcare concerns or grievances you may have.

CareCounsel Phone: (888) 227-3334
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.carecounsel.com

Local Health Resources

  • Sansum Clinic COVID-19 Hotline: (805) 681-1790
  • Cottage Health Virtual: Cottage Hospital is offering online appointments available at https://www.cottagehealth.org/carenow/. You may submit your receipt to your insurance company, but Cottage cannot guarantee you will be reimbursed. Check with your insurance provider for coverage information.
  • Cottage Screening Questionnaire: https://cottagecarenow.org/

Important Information on Access to Essential Goods, Services, and Financial Relief

There are many online delivery options for you to use if you are currently under self-quarantine or just looking to contribute to flattening the curve through social distancing. Please buy local when you can. Many businesses are offering curbside pick-up and delivery options. We encourage you to call your local store and ask them if they have alternatives available.

The Great American Takeout is Tuesday, March 24!

On March 24, restaurants around the country are asking Americans to support the industry by joining the “Great American Takeout.” You can participate by ordering food from a local restaurant for pick-up or delivery. Many of them are offering special deals for customers.

Food Resources

Need to complete errands? Try…

Need to groceries? Try…

  • Zoomers to Boomers has assembled a team of young people looking to help our community and deliver groceries and prescriptions to those who feel safer sheltering at home. They will shop for the items on your grocery list at any grocery store requested and deliver them to your door. They can deliver from Goleta to Carpinteria. You can reimburse for your groceries at the time of delivery by Venmo, check, or cash. No delivery fee or tips are necessary.
  • Amazon Prime Pantry (not available everywhere)
    • Shipt (Santa Maria Only): $14 per month to use services. Users have access to same-day delivery (as soon as 1 hour) and free delivery on orders over $35.
    • Available stores: Target, CVS, Petco, Smart & Final, Office Depot, and Vons. Click here to sign up: https://signup.shipt.com/
  • Whole Foods locations in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo offer Seniors exclusive time to shop between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.
  • Gelson’s also provides special hours for seniors to shop between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.
  • Ralphs has devliery services available in Goleta and Santa Barbara for $9.95:
  • Boxed delivers products in bulk. Stock up on all the essentials like cleaning supplies, snacks and everyday must-haves. Please note that Boxed is reporting high demand and product shortages, and may experience delays several days.

Meals can be delivered from your favorite local restaurants:

Resources for Families and Individuals

SBC 211 Helpline – Call 211 or visit 211santabarbaracounty.org.
Public Safety Net Programs: Continue to receive healthcare, food assistance and in-home supportive services in a timely manner during the COVID-19 outbreak. Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order to extend the eligibility period for important safety net services. The order waives eligibility re-determination for 90 days for Californians who participate in these services:  https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/03/18/governor-newsom-issues-executive-order-to-protect-ongoing-safety-net-services-for-most-vulnerable-californians-during-covid-19-outbreak/

Mental Health

Santa Barbara County ACCESS Line: Provides mental health services for those who are in crisis due to alcohol, drug, and/or mental health issues. Call 888-868-1649, available 24/7. For more information visit https://www.countyofsb.org/behavioral-wellness.

Utility Services Relief

  • Community Action Commission: Provides one-time utility assistance and home weatherization to qualified families, both owners and renters. Call for more information at 805-617-2897.
  • Southern CA Edison: Temporarily suspending disconnections for customers unable to pay their bill due to COVID19 impact. Call 800-950-2356 or visit sce.com/billhelp.
  • SoCal Gas: Providing support to residential customers by not suspending services and offering payment assistance. Small business customers may be eligible for a waived late fees. For more information call 800-427-2200 or visit https://socalgas.com/coronavirus.
  • PG&E: Offer its most flexible payment plans to customers who indicate either an impact or hardship as a result of COVID-19. For a moratorium on disconnection services or for more information call 877-704-8470 or visit https://www.pge.com/en_US/about-pge/company-information/protective-protocols/covid19.page.

Other Companies Offering Financial Relief

  • AT&T: Provides flexible payment options for COVID-19 impacted customers to keep service including cellphones, television, and internet running. Make payment arrangements by calling 800-288-2020.
  • Bank of America: Offers personalized financial assistance through its Client Assistance Program and can be reached at 844-219-0690.
  • CapitalOne: Customers affected by COVID-19 may be eligible for assistance, which will vary on the type of product they have and their individual needs. For more information visit https://www.capitalone.com/coronavirus/.
  • Chase Bank: Announced its efforts to help its customers affected by COVID-19 and is encouraging customers to call a special care line at 888-356-0023 to discuss available hardship programs.
  • Citibank: Customers affected by COVID-19 may be eligible for waived fees, credit line increase, and some mortgage customers can be eligible for hardship programs. For more information visit https://online.citi.com/US/JRS/pands/detail.do?ID=covid19.
  • COX: Due to the coronavirus crisis, increased access and speed is free for low-income internet service Connect2Compete. New Connect2Compete customers will receive their first month of service free. Additional support available for customers. Call 844-221-3930 or visit https://www.cox.com/residential/support/coronavirus-response.html?campcode=tnt-home-alert.
  • Sprint: Offering payment options to qualified customers through its financial team to keep customers affected by COVID-19 connected. Additionally GB will be provided at no cost. Call 888-211-4727 or visit sprint.com for more information.
  • T-Mobile: Providing payment options for customers affected by COVID-19. Customers can call T-Mobile Customer Care to discuss options at 611 from a T-Mobile device or 877-746-0909 from any phone.
  • U.S Bank: Customers are encouraged to visit the U.S. Bank coronavirus webpage or contact a designated line at 888-287-7817 to speak with a customer service representative about products or customer assistance programs that may be available, including mortgage relief options. Visit https://www.usbank.com/splash/covid-19.html.
  • Verizon: Offering flexible payment options and a “Promise to Pay” program for customers which can be set up in the My Verizon app or website, or available by calling 866-266-1445.
  • Wells Fargo Bank: If in need of assistance, customers can call 800-219-9739 to speak with a trained specialist to discuss options available for their consumer lending, small business, and deposit products.

Additional Information