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Supporting Our Members and Community During COVID-19

Dr. Joon Lee shares prevention, testing, and member benefits to support UPMC Health Plan members during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The novel coronavirus that has led to the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most disruptive events of our generation. It has affected each of us personally – how we work, how we live, and how we think about ourselves and our family. It has increased our appreciation of essential workers, such as health care providers and first responders, grocery store workers, and pharmacists.

While our region has been less affected so far than hot spots such as New York and Washington, we need to remain vigilant as individuals and as a community to slow the spread of the disease. We’re all in this together, and that’s why UPMC Health Plan is here for you.

COVID-19 prevention for you and your family

The best prevention for COVID-19 is to avoid exposure to the virus. You can do this by practicing physical distancing and good hygiene.

  • If you can, stay at home. Travel only for essential purposes such as to the grocery store or the pharmacy. If you’re feeling sick, call your doctor or use UPMC AnywhereCare for a virtual visit.
  • Keep 6 feet between yourself and others. This helps reduce the spread of the virus from person to person. If you do have to be out in public, the CDC now recommends using a homemade protective face covering (like a bandana or cloth mask) to protect others you may come in contact with.
  • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze and cough.
  • Keep your surroundings clean. Regularly wipe down common surface areas, including tables, countertops, and door handles.

UPMC Health Plan support for members

Your access to high-quality care is our top priority. UPMC Health Plan has already responded with a number of important policy changes to reduce barriers to care during these uncertain times. There are many unknowns during the coronavirus crisis; support from your health plan should not be one of them. 

  • $0 UPMC AnywhereCare visits. A wide range of telehealth services, including UPMC AnywhereCare, are available at no cost until June 15, 2020. Speak with a network provider from your smartphone, computer, or tablet for safe, efficient care. Visit www.UPMCAnywhereCare.com for more information.
  • Early prescription refills. Until June 15, early refill limits on medications filled at any of our network pharmacies have been waived.
  • No cost COVID-19 testing. UPMC Health Plan has waived deductibles, copays, and other cost-sharing for COVID-19 diagnostic testing when referred by a medical provider.
  • No out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 in-network treatment. Now through June 15, we are waiving all deductibles, coinsurance, and copays for in-network, inpatient COVID-19 treatment for the majority of members enrolled in commercial, Medicare, Medical Assistance, and CHIP plans, as well as those in an ACA plan. Self-insured employer groups can opt out of this coverage.
  • MyHealth 24/7 Nurse Line. Our nurses are on-call day and night to support your care needs and offer advice on a variety of health issues, including COVID-19. Call 1-866-918-1591 (TTY: 1-866-918-1593).
  • Staying in Touch events. Beginning April 14, join our clinical experts in a series of virtual town halls to discuss topics such as managing stress, staying healthy, and keeping up social connection from the comfort of your own home. Learn more about our Staying in Touch events.

We continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and will adapt to meet the needs of our community. Visit our coronavirus resource page for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19.

What do I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms?

Symptoms for COVID-19 can vary widely and include fever, chills, headache, cough, shortness of breath, severe fatigue, and the inability to smell and/or taste. Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2-14 days after coming in contact with the virus.

If you believe you or a family member have COVID-19, but do not have a high fever or shortness of breath, you can:

  1. Call the MyHealth 24/7 Nurse Line at 1-866-918-1591 (TTY: 711).
  2. Discuss your symptoms with a doctor using UPMC AnywhereCare.
  3. Call your primary care provider.

If you develop a high fever and/or shortness of breath you should go to an emergency department. Call ahead if you can. If you cannot safely travel, call 911.

The CDC’s Coronavirus Disease symptom checker tool can help determine whether you need to be tested.

COVID-19 testing is not available to the general public. Most testing requires a physician referral. Learn more about COVID-19 testing.

How to Use the CDC COVID-19 Symptom Checker Tool

UPMC: Working together to support our community

UPMC Health Plan, hospitals, providers, and researchers are working together to support our community during this unprecedented time. Care quality continues to be of the utmost importance and includes protecting our staff and hospital visitors. Scientists at UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine are working on a potential vaccine. And UPMC is holding regular press conferences to keep the general public up to date with the most recent information. Visit the UPMC coronavirus website for additional information.

To our members, community partners, frontline team, and neighbors: we wish you health and safety and will continue to provide extra support during this challenging time.

Sincerely,

Dr. Joon Lee

Chief Medical Officer, UPMC Health Plan About Dr. Lee
In his role as chief medical officer of the UPMC Insurance Services Division, Dr. Lee provides medical leadership for the insurance services clinical team, which serves the 3.7 million members of UPMC Health Plan and its affiliated health management companies. He also directs clinical innovation efforts to improve health outcomes and works to advance UPMC’s goals as an integrated delivery and financing system.

Dr. Lee also serves as a faculty member in the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Medicine.

An interventional cardiologist by training, Dr. Lee has focused his research and clinical interests on the role of stem cells in the treatment of coronary artery disease and catheter-based treatment of valvular disease. He has been instrumental in advancing innovations in clinical care at UPMC and is recognized as an outstanding leader who constantly pushes the envelope for new therapies to prevent cardiac-related problems and to support recovery from them.

Dr. Lee received his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and his medical degree from Duke University’s School of Medicine. He completed a medical internship, residency, and two cardiology fellowships at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He is certified in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology by the American Board of Internal Medicine, and he is a member of the American College of Physicians and a fellow in the American College of Cardiology.