Healthfirst is actively monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and is here to help you get access to the care you need. Continue to check this page as it will be updated as new information becomes available.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) - What You Should Know
It has never been easier to get a COVID-19 vaccination in NYC. People 5 years of age and older are eligible for the vaccine. Learn about the benefits of vaccination. If you are undecided about getting a COVID-19 vaccine, talk with your healthcare provider or pharmacist about your concerns. You can also call the Member Services phone number on your Healthfirst Member ID card if you have any questions about vaccines.
Talk to your doctor about whether they offer the COVID-19 vaccine If not, there are other options, including many sites where you can get vaccinated by appointment and by “walk-up.” Some vaccination sites offer online appointment bookings; others take appointments by phone. Many pharmacies offer vaccination.
To find a vaccination site near you, use the NYC Vaccine Finder (not accessible with Internet Explorer). You can also call 1-877-VAX-4NYC (1-877-829-4692) to schedule an appointment at certain sites.
To request free transportation to and from a vaccination appointment for city residents 65 years of age and older, as well as for those with disabilities who have no other way to get to a vaccination site, call 1-855-491-2667.
- If you are 65 years of age and older, or have a disability, you can schedule free transport by ambulette or taxi.
- For ambulette service, call 1-516-812-9827.
- For taxi service (including wheelchair-accessible vehicles), call 1-646-349-0289.
- If you are a minor under the age of 18, you must have your parent or guardian call to book the trip on your behalf.
You can also sign up online for an in-home vaccination or by calling 1-877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692). Anyone 12 years of age and older is eligible for in-home vaccination.
Vaccines are available at no cost to you and regardless of immigration status.
New Yorkers who live outside of NYC:
- Make an appointment at New York State‒run vaccination sites here: https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov
- All other sites, here: www.vaccinefinder.org
Source: COVID-19: Vaccine – NYC Health
What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?
Call your doctor if you develop a fever, have a cough, difficulty breathing, repeated shaking with chills, or new loss of taste or smell. Let your doctor know if you’ve been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19. Be sure to carefully follow your doctor’s instructions. Go to the emergency room ONLY if you have shortness of breath, chest pain, or difficulty talking.
If you are sick with any of the symptoms above, you must stay inside and isolate yourself from others. You should stay home until at least 10 days have passed since the onset of your symptoms AND at least 24 hours since you had a fever without fever-reducing medication. While at home, stay as far away from the people you live with as is possible. Do not share personal items like dishes, towels, or bedding with others. Wash your hands frequently and clean all surfaces you touch with household cleaning spray.
At Healthfirst, our commitment to getting you access to quality healthcare remains our top priority. Telemedicine lets you receive medical advice or treatment by phone or online video, right from the comfort of your home.
To start using telemedicine, here’s what you should know and do.
- Call your primary care provider (PCP)
Ask your doctor if they’re participating in telemedicine. If your doctor provides phone or video appointments, follow their instructions.
- Use Teladoc®*
If your doctor isn’t available, or if it’s after hours or on a weekend, you can meet with a Teladoc doctor by phone or video 24/7 by visiting Teladoc.com/Healthfirst or by calling 1-800-TELADOC (835-2362). After setting up a Teladoc account, you can schedule and attend a virtual doctor appointment via phone or video, receive a prescription, and more. Teladoc lets you access a national network of board-certified PCPs, family practitioners, and pediatricians (not your own PCP).
*This service is not yet available for Senior Health Partners (SHP) plan members.
Paying for Telemedicine Services
Cost-sharing (your copay) is waived for all services delivered via telemedicine by in-network providers or via Teladoc. You won’t be charged for a telemedicine visit even if the visit is for something unrelated to COVID-19.
Important note: Telemedicine services and/or Teladoc should not be used in place of emergency care or urgent care.
Member PPE Charges
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, providers and their staff are using more personal protective equipment (PPE) during in-patient office visits. PPE includes face masks, face shields, gowns, and gloves. Healthfirst members are not responsible to pay for PPE billed by a participating provider for a covered visit.
If a provider has billed or asked you to pay for PPE, let us know. Call the Member Services phone number on your Member ID card or send a complaint in writing to Healthfirst, P.O. Box 5166, New York, NY 10274-5166 (or fax it to 1-646-313-4618). The complaint should include the provider’s name, date of treatment, the PPE fee charged, and a copy of your bill (if available). We’ll work with the provider to resolve your bill.
To learn more about New York State guidance on PPE charges, visit the New York Department of Financial Services’ website to read the department’s Circular Letter No. 14 (2020).
For information about Covid-19 testing, click here.
Will my Healthfirst benefits cover COVID-19 testing and evaluation?
If your primary care provider (PCP) or an in-network provider orders a COVID-19 test, your Healthfirst health plan will cover the cost for the test and the in-network provider visit related to the evaluation. You will not be subject to any cost sharing for the test or the in-network provider visit.
Prevention and Treatment
What can I do to stay healthy?
Good health habits can also help prevent and fight coronavirus. You should:
- wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- stay home when you’re sick. This means staying home from work or school, not running errands, and not traveling for at least 24 hours after a fever is gone.
- cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces like phones, keyboards, and doorknobs.
- get plenty of sleep, be physically active, drink lots of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
- wear a face mask or face covering when required.
For benefit-related questions, please call the Member Services number on the back of your Member ID card.