Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is an emerging disease that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person to person. Many details about this disease are still unknown, such as treatment options, how the virus works, the total impact of the illness, and many other factors. Western Sky Cmmunity Care HealthPlan wants to help keep you and others healthy. Visit this page regularly for COVID-19 updates from Western Sky Community Care.
Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Shortness of breath
What You Can Do
You can keep yourself and others healthy with simple actions that help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:
- 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.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Watch this video to learn more about how to protect yourself (Video).
What you need to know about COVID-19
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new disease that causes respiratory illness in people and 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. Many details about this disease are still unknown, such as treatment options, how the virus works, and the total impact of the illness.
What is the coronavirus?
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that is caused by a new virus called a coronavirus, which has become a public health emergency. The number of cases continue to increase nationally and globally.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of coronavirus include mild to severe respiratory symptoms. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, and lower respiratory illness. COVID-19 can be contagious before a person begins showing symptoms.
What else causes similar symptoms?
Influenza (the flu), a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza viruses (Type A and Type B), has high activity in the United States at this time. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine.
I may have symptoms. What do I do?
If you have been exposed or begin showing symptoms of the virus or flu, contact your healthcare provider or health department immediately.
How else can I get healthcare services?
Teledoc is a convenient way for Western Sky Community Care members to obtain telemedicine services. You will receive 24-hour access to in-network healthcare providers for non-emergency medical issues. Get medical advice, a diagnosis or a prescription by video or phone. For more information about Western Sky Community Care services, please visit our telemedicine page or call Member Services 1-844-543-8996.
Protect yourself and your community.
We all have a role to play in protecting our communities and families from the spread of coronavirus. It is similar to other communicable viruses. 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 an alcohol-based hand sanitizing rub (must contain at least 60 percent alcohol).
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze by coughing/sneezing into your elbow.
- Promptly dispose of tissues in a wastebasket after use.
- Clean public surfaces thoroughly.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid shaking hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Get a flu vaccine.
Does my plan cover COVID-19 testing/screening/treatment services?
Yes. When medically necessary diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment is ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider, we will cover the cost of medically necessary COVID-19 tests, screenings, associated physician’s visit(s) and/or treatment. If applicable, your plan’s copayment, coinsurance and/or deductible cost-sharing will be waived for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment.
Is prior authorization required for COVID-19 testing, screening services and/or treatment under my plan coverage?
No. We will not require prior authorization, prior certification, prior notification and/or step therapy protocols for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services, and/or treatment when medically necessary services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider.
Where may I receive COVID-19 testing/screening/treatment services under my plan coverage?
Medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment and the associated physician’s visit will be covered when ordered, referred and/or performed in the following In-Network locations:
- Physician’s/Practitioner’s Office
- Independent Laboratory/Diagnostic Facility
- Urgent Care Facility
- Emergency Department Facility
Are you unsure if you have been exposed to or at-risk of being infected with COVID-19? Schedule a virtual care visit with a provider. It is a good option for non-urgent care to limit potential exposure in a physician’s office or other healthcare facility.
Will I be responsible for any out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing/screening/treatment services?
No. We will cover medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment at no charge to you, when such services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider. If applicable, your plan’s copayment, coinsurance and/or deductible cost-sharing will be waived for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment, along with the associated physician’s visit.
If I need treatment for coronavirus, is that covered by my plan?
Any medically necessary treatment related to COVID-19 would be considered a covered benefit. We are committed to ensuring access to COVID-19 treatment services in accordance with federal and state law.
Will I be able to refill my prescriptions before the refill date?
Yes, members will be able to refill prescriptions prior to the refill date.
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.
- 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
In case you have to go to the hospital.
- If you are experiencing symptoms, or another medical condition requires you to be hospitalized, here are some important things to keep in mind:
- If possible, notify Western Sky Community Care prior to your hospital admission by contacting us at 1-844-543-8996.
- These are difficult and hard times for hospitals. Things will not be usual. They are working with limited staff, and many things that you are used to will not be happening.
- Hospitals are working hard to make sure they are accessible and safe for patients as possible. You will be greeted at the hospital by staff wearing protective gear, and taken to an area you may not be used to that is away from other patients.
- Most hospitals are limiting visitors, but if you have a disability you can ask to bring a family member or other helper with you unless they are also sick. If your family member or helper is unable to go with you, remember this is to protect them from getting sick.
- In a normal situation, you can bring a trained assistance animal with you most of the time in accordance with federal and state regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. You should notify the hospital in advance of your arrival to ensure that your service animal will be able to come with you during this time.
- You can bring your own stuff like a ventilator or wheelchair, but you may not want to. Because COVID-19 is easily spreadable, your durable medical equipment (i.e. wheelchair, walker, etc.) may be taken from you when you arrive as a precaution to help protect other patients and medical staff at the hospital from possible contamination that may be on your equipment. This could increase the chances of your equipment getting lost. The hospital must provide you with replacement equipment or some other workarounds (i.e. sanitizing your equipment and returning to you) if this should happen.
- Remember to take your phone and charger and any assistive communication devices. Usually, these devices cannot be taken away from you if you need them to communicate due to a disability.
- You have a right to good communication. If you are deaf ask if you can get ASL interpreting or CART. Ask if you can get papers in Braille or large print or in a computer file. You can get information in simple words.
- Hospitals will make every effort to help you get information in another language or an interpreter.
- In case you will need to be on a ventilator, come prepared with paper and pen to ensure you are able to communicate your needs. Create signs that can be taken and placed over your bed that give details such as important contact information. Examples of signs can include “I’m Deaf” or “Please contact my child Molly at 555-1212”. Additional information, including printable signs, are available in the Additional Handouts section here
- Document and take with you information such as critical health details, treatment preferences, advanced directives, power of attorney and contact information. These could be placed in a plastic bag and carried in with you. Tips for documenting your emergency information can be found here
- For some procedures, you will be asked to sign a consent for treatment form. You should ask as much about the treatment and procedures as you can prior to signing the consent.
- Request a written copy of the Hospitals Patient Rights and Responsibilities document. This document should include your ability to file a grievance with the hospital if your rights have been neglected.
- You have the right to medical care like everybody else. No one can deny you emergency care (like a ventilator) just because of your disability.
- You have a right to get help with follow-up care and services.
- For more information on your civil rights, visit here . If possible, print and bring a copy with you.
- For more information on preparing for the hospital, visit here.
If you have a disability and need support with any COVID -19 related medical advocacy, call your care manager or the National Disability COVID -19 Healthcare Support and Advocacy Hotline at (800) 626-4959.
For more information, including travel advisories, please visit cdc.gov/coronavirus.
- WSCC COVID-19 Need to Know (PDF)
- WHO General Information on COVID-19
- CDC: Facts About Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
- CDC: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: Coronavirus Disease – 2019 (COVID-19)
- CDC: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: Coronavirus Disease – 2019 (COVID-19) and Children
- CDC: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: Coronavirus Disease – 2019 (COVID-19) and Pregnancy
- NCTSN: Parent/Caregivier Guide to Helping Families Cope with the Coronavirus
- CDC: Coronavirus Disease - Managing Anxiety and Stress
- CDC: Suggestions for mental health and coping during COVID-19
- SAMHSA: Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health (PDF)
- AAO: COVID-19 Guide for Eye Patients
NMDOH - New Mexico Department of Health
- CDC General Information on COVID-19
- CDC Information on Travel
- CDC Videos on COVID-19
- CDC Print Resources
- CDC: Learn More About the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
- WHO: Coronavirus Myth Busters
How to Get Help
- Call the 24-hour nurse advice line or Member Services at the number on the back of your Western Sky Community Care member ID card to get answers to health questions.
- Receive 24/7 telemedicine access to doctors on-demand by phone or video for non-emergency medical issues through Teladoc. You can also call 1-800-835-2362 for more information.
- myStrength provided by Western Sky Community Care - Finding support to focus on your emotional health is important. Visit the myStrength website to help you get better and stay mentally strong. You may also find help by visiting or calling the New Mexico Crisis & Access Line at 1-855-662-7474.
- Need financial assistance? The state and private companies have taken measures to mitigate financial hardship and the state is diligently working to identify additional sources of relief. Visit The State of New Mexico for more information on how to access assistance for child care, food assistance for families, seniors and disabled adults, resources for unemployment or utilities, internet & cell phone, mortgage or rent, and others.
- Need health insurance? Depending on your income and family size you may be eligible for Medicaid. To apply, call 1-855-637-6574 or visit YES New Mexico portal. If you don't qualify for Medicaid, you may be eligible for low-cost or no-cost private insurance through beWellnm. If you're not eligible for either of these programs, visit the New Mexico Insurance Pool. To find out if you may be eligible, review the following Income Eligibility Guidelines (PDF) from beWellnm.
For more resources visit our COVID-19 Member Resources page.