What You Should Know About the COVID-19 Vaccines

What You Should Know About the COVID-19 Vaccines

What You Should Know About the COVID-19 Vaccines

Lee esto en EspañolCOVID-19 vaccines are here, and it’s vital to helping fight the spreading pandemic. The sooner we get a large part of the public immune to the virus, the sooner we can return to normal life with family and friends like school, work, holiday get-togethers and church gatherings.

The combination of getting vaccinated and following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

Things to Know

Safety is a top priority.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a set of standards to measure the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. The new COVID-19 vaccines have been approved by the FDA. As with any vaccine, you should talk to your doctor about its safety for you.

A plan is in place to distribute the vaccine. While the vaccines are being made, there is a limited supply. Federal and state health officials are working with the public health and health care community to get the vaccines distributed as quickly as possible. They are using a phased rollout plan, meaning certain groups of people will have access to the first batches of the vaccines. For example, health care workers and other first responders are in line to get the vaccines first.

You may need more than one shot for effectiveness. Some of the COVID-19 vaccines call for two doses. The safest plan is to take both vaccines at the same provider or pharmacy. Once you get your first dose, make sure to ask about getting your second dose of the same vaccine before leaving.

Be aware of scammers. Criminals are using COVID-19 as a chance to commit health care fraud. Be wary if you get a call about getting on a vaccine “wait list” or to set a time to get vaccinated. Don’t enter personal information on a website or email “application” for the vaccines.

What’s Covered

With a BCBSNM health plan, you have access to the COVID-19 vaccine and its administration at no cost to you. Talk with your health care provider about when you can get the vaccine and any questions you have about the vaccines.

Some self-funded groups may not waive the cost for the COVID-19 vaccine and its administration. If you aren’t sure what your plan covers, contact your company’s benefits administrator or call BCBSNM Customer Service at the number listed on your member ID card.

Members with pharmacy benefits through a BCBSNM employer health plan, individual plan and Medicare Advantage plan will be able to get the vaccines with no out-of-pocket cost at any provider or pharmacy during the public health emergency. Some grandfathered health plans may not cover preventive care like vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine. Check your plan benefits if you aren’t sure or call Customer Service at the number on your BCBSNM member ID card for help.

If you have pharmacy benefits administered by a pharmacy benefit manager other than Prime Therapeutics®, please call them for your pharmacy-related COVID-19 questions, including vaccine coverage.

If you don’t have insurance, there are programs that can help. Your doctor or a local pharmacy can tell you what your choices are.

Why Should I Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Like the flu and other communicable diseases, you lower the chance of spreading it to other people if you get a vaccine. And some people who are COVID-19 positive don’t show symptoms or have different symptoms than the most common ones. Getting vaccinated gives you the widest protection to the greatest number of people.

For other resources and information about COVID-19 and you, visit our COVID-19 website.

The CDC   and FDA   have more information about the COVID-19 vaccine.