Member Coronavirus Information
View information on COVID-19 specific services and relief programs, including resources in your area.
What you need to know about COVID-19
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disease that causes respiratory illness in people. It 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.
A COVID-19 vaccination is now available. The vaccine gives 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.
Everyone in Louisiana age 5 or older is now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Find out where to get your vaccine at covidvaccine.la.gov.
If you have questions about the vaccine, you can call:
- Your doctor
- The Louisiana Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 1-855-453-0774, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday – Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.
- The Louisiana 211 Network, dial 2-1-1
- Our 24/7 Nurse Advice Line at 1-866-595-8133 (TTY: 711)
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.
Everyone in Louisiana ages 5 and older is eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. For the most current eligibility information, visit the Louisiana Department of Health’s website at covidvaccine.la.gov.
The CDC recommends the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy. If you have questions, talk with your doctor. Our Medical Directors are also part of your care team. Read what they have to say about getting the vaccine when you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. For the most current guidance on wearing masks and social distancing, go to the Louisiana Department of Health’s website.
If you are fully vaccinated and have a known exposure to someone with COVID-19, the CDC says that you do not need to quarantine and get tested if you don’t have symptoms. It is recommended that you watch for symptoms for 14 days.
Fully vaccinated is considered two weeks past the final dose. If you got the Moderna or Pfizer mRNA vaccine, this means two weeks after the second dose. If you got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, this is two weeks after the single dose.
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 facility or provider that gave you your first dose. Ask about your vaccine information. Verify your second appointment date, time and 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 if necessary. Call first to make an appointment. When you go, bring your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.
Yes. If you need transportation to a vaccine location, Louisiana Healthcare Connections can give you a ride. Schedule your ride at least 48 hours before your vaccine appointment. Call 1-855-369-3723 (TTY: 711), Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
A small number 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.” People who have been vaccinated are much less likely to get sick. But it will still happen in some cases. Some vaccinated people might get the virus, but not have symptoms. 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 Delta variant is highly contagious. This means it spreads very easily. It is nearly twice as easy to spread as previous variants.
- The Delta variant might cause more severe illness in people who are unvaccinated. Unvaccinated people are at the greatest risk for severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
- Fully vaccinated people with breakthrough infections can spread the virus to others. But vaccinated people appear to be infectious for a shorter period of time.
- Vaccines are highly effective, including against the Delta variant.
Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may prefer the vaccine type they originally received. Others may choose to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.
Coronavirus and Symptoms
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease. It is caused by a virus called a coronavirus, which has become a public health emergency.
The symptoms of coronavirus include mild to severe respiratory symptoms. Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and lower respiratory illness. COVID-19 can be contagious before a person begins showing symptoms.
Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza viruses (Type A and Type B). The flu has high activity in the United States in the fall and winter months. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine each year.
If you have been exposed or begin showing symptoms of the virus or flu, call your health care provider immediately.
We all have a role to play in protecting our communities and families from the spread of coronavirus. It is similar to other viruses that are passed from person to person. 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 hand sanitizer (must contain at least 60 percent alcohol).
- Wear a face covering or mask when in public and/or around others who don’t live in your home if you are not fully vaccinated.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue.
- Throw used tissues in a trashcan right away.
- Clean public surfaces thoroughly.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid shaking hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Get a flu shot every year.
Yes. Louisiana Healthcare Connections will cover the cost of commercial COVID-19 tests and screenings. Louisiana Healthcare Connections will also cover clinic visits, primary care visits, emergency department visits, hospitalizations and medically necessary treatment related to COVID-19. For help finding a provider near you, use our online Find-A-Provider tool.
No. Louisiana Healthcare Connections will not require prior authorization, prior certification, prior notification and/or step therapy protocols for commercial COVID-19 tests and screenings. Prior authorization is not required for medically necessary treatment for COVID-19 when ordered by a licensed health care provider.
Commercial COVID-19 testing and screening services are covered without restriction. You may get tested in a facility like a physician’s office, clinic, independent lab, hospital or at a community testing site. Medically necessary treatment for COVID-19 is also covered. For help finding a provider near you, use our online Find-A-Provider tool.
Are you unsure if you have been exposed to or are at-risk of being infected with COVID-19? Ask your provider if they offer telehealth services. A virtual visit using your computer or phone is a good option for non-emergency care. You can get care wherever you are.
No. We will cover COVID-19 commercial testing, screening services and medically necessary treatment at no charge to you. Any visits to your Primary Care Provider (PCP) are also covered.
Yes. Any medically necessary treatment related to COVID-19 is covered. We are committed to ensuring access to COVID-19 treatment services in accordance with federal and state law.
Yes, members will be able to refill prescriptions before the refill date. People enrolled in Healthy Louisiana Medicaid health plans will not pay a co-pay for covered prescriptions during the Public Health Emergency.
Are There Strategies For 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.
The Louisiana Department of Health’s “Keep Calm Through COVID” crisis phone line provides trained, compassionate counselors to support Louisianans through this difficult time. Counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Counselors can link callers to mental health and substance abuse counseling and other services.
Call the Keep Calm Through COVID hotline at 1-866-310-7977 at any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All calls are confidential.
Be sure to:
- 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.
I have more questions. Where can I find answers?
Louisiana Healthcare Connections Member Services
Member Services can help you with understanding your benefits, getting a prescription filled, finding a doctor and more. Call 1-866-595-8133 (TTY: 711), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
To speak with a nurse, just call our 24/7 Nurse Advice Line at 1-866-595-8133 (TTY: 711).
Louisiana Department of Health (LDH)
For help scheduling your vaccine appointment or finding vaccine providers near you, call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 1-855-453-0774. You can also speak with medical professionals who can answer your questions about the vaccine. The hotline’s hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Louisiana 211 Network
If you have questions about COVID-19, contact the Louisiana 211 Network:
- Dial 2-1-1
- Text LACOVID to 898-211
- Visit LA211Help.org
You’ll find more information about COVID-19 symptoms and prevention plus advice on what to do if you feel sick. You can also get help applying for SNAP benefits or unemployment and finding community resources for basic needs.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
For more information, including travel advisories, please visit cdc.gov.