Last updated January 21, 2021
What you should know about the COVID-19 vaccine
Vaccines are an important tool to help communities fight the spread of COVID-19, and help people stay healthy. However, widespread availability of a vaccine likely will not occur for many months. That’s why it’s critically important to continue following the advice of health professionals in order to minimize the chances of catching or spreading the disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and washing your hands remain the best protections against the virus.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
Yes. There are currently 2 authorized COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have both received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in the U.S., meaning that they can be made available to the public during the pandemic. There are 3 other COVID-19 vaccines in earlier stages of development in the U.S.
When will a vaccine be widely available?
According to the CDC, “There is currently a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, but supply will increase in the weeks and months to come. The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as large enough quantities are available.”
Who is eligible to get the vaccine?
Because of limited initial supply, the CDC has recommended that the vaccine be distributed in phases, beginning with those who are most at risk. For Phase 1a of the distribution, the CDC recommended healthcare workers and residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities receive the vaccine first. The CDC recently updated its recommendation for the next rollout phases.
The CDC recommends that in Phase 1b and Phase 1c, which may overlap, vaccination should be offered to people in the following groups.
- Frontline essential workers such as firefighters, police officers, corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, and those who work in the educational sector (teachers, support staff and daycare workers.)
- People aged 75 years and older because they are at high risk of hospitalization, illness and death from COVID-19. People aged 75 years and older who are also residents of long-term care facilities should be offered vaccination in Phase 1a.
- People aged 65–74 years because they are at high risk of hospitalization, illness, and death from COVID-19. People aged 65–74 years who are also residents of long-term care facilities should be offered vaccination in Phase 1a.
- People aged 16–64 years with underlying medical conditions which increase the risk of serious, life-threatening complications from COVID-19.
- Other essential workers such as people who work in transportation and logistics, food service, housing construction and finance, information technology, communications, energy, law, media, public safety and public health.
For the latest information about COVID-19 vaccines, , opens new window.
When will I be able to get the vaccine?
It’s important to note that states are developing their own prioritization plans based on the CDC’s recommendations, so eligible groups may vary somewhat from state to state.
The CDC site has a tool that links to COVID vaccine information from every state and territory. , opens new window, scroll down to the section that says: “How Do I Get a Vaccine?” and select your state from the drop-down menu.
Where will I be able to get the vaccine once it is available for me?
At this time, the specific locations where you will be able to receive the vaccine are still uncertain. However, according to the CDC, “The plan is to have several thousand vaccination providers available, including doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers.”
Wherever you get the vaccine, it is important to confirm the source is safe and reputable to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. A recent warning from the FBI provides information on potential indicators of COVID-19 vaccine-related fraud and tips on how to avoid it. , opens new window.
Is the vaccine safe?
According to the CDC, “The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Learn how federal partners are working together to , opens new window.”
Are there any side effects?
It is possible that you will experience some side effects after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the CDC, “After COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects. This is a normal sign that your body is building protection.” Common vaccine side effects highlighted by the CDC range from pain at the injection site to flu-like symptoms. , opens new window.
There have been extremely rare incidents of significant allergic reactions reported. The CDC is working with vaccine providers to put safeguards in place for dealing with severe allergic reactions. , opens new window.
After receiving the vaccine, consider signing up for V-safe from the CDC. “V-safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Through v-safe, you can quickly tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on your answers, someone from CDC may call to check on you and get more information. And v-safe will remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if you need one.” , opens new window.
How is it administered? How many doses will I need?
The COVID-19 vaccines will be delivered via injection. Most will require 2 doses to be effective, including the 2 vaccines that recently received Emergency Use Authorization. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will require 2 shots, administered about 21 days apart. The Moderna vaccine will require 2 shots, administered about 28 days apart.
What if I am high-risk or have a specific medical condition?
If you have concerns due to your health status or a specific medical condition, talk with your doctor about whether the vaccine is appropriate for you, and the safest way to get it.
If you have an underlying or chronic medical condition, make sure you are in communication with your doctor during this pandemic. Getting these conditions well-managed, by staying on top of your preventive and regular medical care, will help to manage your health risk. This is one of the best ways to protect yourself while awaiting the availability of the vaccine.
Will I be able to get the vaccine at no charge to me?
Yes. All Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized COVID-19 vaccines will be covered at no additional cost during the public health emergency. Coverage applies no matter where you get the vaccine, including at both in-network and out-of-network providers. It also covers instances in which 2 vaccine doses are required.
While the $0 cost share applies across Humana’s Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial plans, there are some technical differences with how claims are processed:
- Humana Medicare Advantage members: Original Medicare is responsible for coverage of COVID-19 vaccinations. Your vaccine provider will submit vaccine-related charges to Medicare and you will not be responsible for those costs.
- Humana Medicaid and commercial members: The cost of the vaccine doses will be paid for by the federal government. Humana will cover any cost from vaccine providers for administering the vaccine, and there will be no cost share for members.
This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. If you are in a life-threatening or emergency medical situation, please dial 9-1-1 and seek medical attention immediately.
Out-of-pocket costs related to coronavirus treatment
Is Humana covering out-of-pocket costs for treatment related to confirmed cases of COVID-19?
For the 2021 plan year, Humana will cover out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 treatment for all Humana Medicare Advantage medical plan members. Members will have no copays, deductibles or coinsurance out-of-pocket costs for covered services for treatment of confirmed cases of COVID-19, regardless of where the treatment takes place. This could include telehealth, primary care physician visits, specialty physician visits, facility visits, labs, home-health and ambulance services.
Members are encouraged to check their plan documents for details about their 2021 coverage.
Medicaid plans will continue to follow state requirements for COVID-19 treatment and cost-share waivers.
Why aren’t all plans eligible?
Not all member plans are eligible.
Effective January 1, 2021, employer group members’ standard benefits and cost-sharing will apply for COVID-19 treatment.
Note: This does not apply to Part D-only plan members. Part D-only plan members continue to be eligible for prescription benefits.
Regarding COVID-19 treatment, what medications will Humana cover?
Humana will cover FDA-approved medications as they become available. This includes Veklury® (remdesivir), which has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 requiring hospitalization. If a member is prescribed non-FDA-approved medications for the treatment of COVID-19, he or she will be responsible for any cost sharing required per his or her plan design. Non-FDA approved drugs are excluded Part D drugs and ineligible for any Part D coverage.
Are these benefits the same from state to state?
Unless specifically noted, all of the information on this page applies to Humana members nationwide. However, in the event that individual states find themselves facing unique challenges, Humana will work closely with them to help support our members there. See the latest information specific to your state.
Does this impact in- and out-of-network claims?
Humana encourages members to continue to seek care from the healthcare providers they already know. We will cover eligible members’ copays, deductibles or coinsurance costs for in-network or out-of-network COVID-19-related covered benefits during this time of crisis.
What is Humana announcing?
Humana announced a pilot home-testing program that will enable at-home COVID-19 diagnostic testing for eligible members, making Humana the first insurer to provide access to LabCorp’s at-home test collection. Humana also announced an innovative new collaboration with Walmart and Quest Diagnostics to help members more easily get tested—by offering tests at hundreds of Walmart Neighborhood Market drive-thru pharmacy locations across the country. Humana will continue to waive member out-of-pocket costs related to COVID-19 diagnostic tests.
Does this apply to all Humana members?
Members with medical coverage through Humana are eligible for no-cost COVID-19 diagnostic tests through Humana’s COVID-19 Testing Program, including Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, commercial (fully insured and self-funded plans), and Medicaid members. Members with only Medicare Part D prescription drug plan coverage, stand-alone vision or stand-alone dental plans, and TRICARE beneficiaries do not qualify for coverage of these tests.
How do members qualify for the test?
To create a seamless experience for our members, Humana has developed an online Coronavirus Risk Assessment tool to help members navigate COVID-19 testing. Through the program, members who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection or those without symptoms who may have been exposed to the virus are recommended for testing. If the member needs to be tested for COVID-19, the program provides the option for them to request an at-home test or drive-thru testing.
Members without access to the internet can call Humana Customer Care at the number located on the back of their member ID card, and a representative will walk them through the Coronavirus Risk Assessment.
Is there any cost for the test?
No, Humana is waiving all member out-of-pocket costs associated with COVID-19 diagnostic testing.
What if a member chooses a testing location that doesn’t accept Humana insurance?
Humana will waive all member out-of-pocket costs related to COVID-19 diagnostic testing for tests administered by both in- and out-of-network providers.
How can a member submit a test for payment to Humana?
- Complete all information requested on the Health Benefits Claim Form, which can be found Health Benefits Claim Form, PDF opens new window
- Enclose the original itemized bill(s)
- Mail the completed form with the original itemized bill(s) to the address on the back of your member ID card
- Please note it can take up to 30 days to process the claim, and the reimbursement will be sent as a check to the home address on file
How many tests will Humana cover for each individual member?
There is currently no limit on the number of COVID-19 tests Humana will cover for each individual member.
Is a referral, authorization or prescription required to obtain the test?
Most testing locations will require a doctor’s order. It is recommended that members contact the testing location for details.
For the LabCorp Pixel™ at-home test and Walmart/Quest drive-thru test locations, Humana will obtain the doctor’s order on the member’s behalf.
Is there an age restriction for the at-home test kit or drive-thru test?
Each testing site has its own guidelines on who can get a COVID-19 test. It is recommended that members contact the testing location for details. For the at-home testing through LabCorp Pixel and the drive-thru testing at Walmart Neighborhood Market locations, members must be at least 18 years old.
What happens if a Humana member tests positive for COVID-19?
Members who receive positive test results after taking an at-home test or being tested through the Walmart drive-thru are contacted by a doctor within 24 hours of the results being processed. In addition, a Humana care manager will call the member to provide care and support if needed. Members also are encouraged to call Humana at any time they need assistance.
At-home tests (LabCorp)
How can I obtain a test kit?
Members can complete Humana’s coronavirus risk assessment on humana.com/coronavirus to determine if they need a test. For members who select at-home testing, Humana is working with LabCorp to provide collection kits through the mail. The test kits enable individuals to collect their nasal swab specimens at home, then return the kit to LabCorp™ for results. Of note, an email address is required since the member will need to set up a Pixel by LabCorp account to order the test and retrieve test results.
How long after I order an at-home test can I expect to receive it?
Most test kits will arrive within 1–2 business days. Due to FedEx shipping schedules, there may be a delay if your order is placed on a weekend or around a holiday.
What is the process for self-administering the test?
The test is available through LabCorp’s Pixel by LabCorp online platform. The test kit enables individuals to self-collect nasal swab specimens at home. Please see the following instructions Sample collection instructions, opens new window.
Should members have questions about using the test kit, they may call LabCorp at 800-833-3935 (TTY: 711), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Eastern time for assistance. Members also can email their questions to email@example.com.
For those not comfortable with an at-home test, Humana also offers a drive-thru testing option.
How long will it take to receive test results?
Members will receive an email when test results are available through the member’s Pixel by LabCorp account. The average time for this process is 2–4 days after the specimen is returned. Members with positive test results will be contacted by a provider. Humana also will contact members who request additional support.
How do I know where to go to get an in-person test?
When a member selects the in-person testing option, they will be directed to a testing site directory to locate the nearest testing site. The directory also will list the nearest Walmart/Quest locations.
What is the process for administering the test?
Testing sites have their own protocols for collecting specimens for COVID-19 testing. It is recommended that members contact the testing location for details.
For Walmart/Quest locations, members will receive a testing kit through the drive-thru window tray, self-administer the nasal swab, place the swab in a container and seal the plastic bag. This process will be observed by a pharmacist behind the drive-thru window. The member will then drop the specimen in a collection bin.
Do I need to schedule an appointment to get tested?
Needing to schedule an appointment to get testing varies by testing site. It is recommended that members contact the testing location for details.
For Walmart/Quest locations, scheduling an appointment is not required. Members must first complete the Coronavirus Risk Assessment tool and can then proceed to get same-day testing during the week.
How long will it take to receive test results?
Testing sites have their own protocols for sharing test results with members. It is recommended that members contact the testing location for details.
For Walmart/Quest locations, results will generally be made available through the MyQuest portal within 2–4 days. Members with positive test results will be contacted by a provider. Humana also will contact members who request additional support.
Should I cancel my in-home care appointments because of COVID-19?
No. Your care is important, and it’s vital to maintain coordination with your healthcare providers. If you have a history of recent travel and symptoms like fever, cough or shortness of breath, please consult your healthcare provider. Call ahead before you request a home visit and tell the representative about your symptoms and any recent travel.
What steps is Humana taking to ensure my safety when a nurse practitioner visits my home?
Supporting our members through this time of uncertainty is important to us. We’re following the most up-to-date advice from the CDC—on hand-washing, disinfection, protective garb and other safety precautions—to keep you healthy.
What is Humana’s Human Care?
Human Care is what Humana does and provides to make the healthcare experience easier, more personalized and more caring. It is the actions Humana takes and the services that we provide to help make the healthcare experience better for our members. We seek to go above and beyond to make the experience “more human” to deliver what matters most to our members.