At UPMC Health Plan Member Services, our goal is to help as many of our members as possible find and receive the COVID-19 vaccine when they are eligible and supplies are available. We talk every day with our UPMC colleagues and our other network providers and pharmacies, as well as community organizations, to identify opportunities to connect our eligible members to available vaccines.
I am pleased to report that as additional vaccines are being delivered to our region, UPMC is vaccinating eligible patients, including UPMC Health Plan members.
Who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine?
UPMC is currently vaccinating those who meet the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Phase 1A criteria, which includes people over 65 and those with medical conditions that put them at greater risk of COVID-19 complications. COVID-19 vaccines are being provided at no cost.
Vaccine supply from the state and federal government is still limited, but by registering now you will be able to schedule an appointment when a vaccine is available. As the federal government provides Pennsylvania with more vaccines, we will be working closely with UPMC and our other clinical partners to connect our members to the .
How do I get a COVID-19 vaccine?
If you meet the criteria for Phase 1A and wish to receive a vaccination, we encourage you to register using UPMC’s online form at https://vaccine.upmc.com.
If you have limited access to online services or technology – like a computer or smartphone – or if you need help registering, you can call 1-844-UPMCVAC (1-844-876-2822) seven days a week from 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. An operator will register you over the phone and then you will be contacted about scheduling an appointment when a vaccine is available. We expect high call volume on this line. To keep this option open to those who need it most, please use the online COVID-19 registration process if you can.
Who has UPMC already vaccinated?
Vaccinations against COVID-19 have already started in some regions. UPMC Hamot in Erie and our other hospitals in the region have already vaccinated over 13,000 eligible patients. Over the next several weeks, UPMC will expand access to vaccinations by launching community-based clinics across the state.
Vaccination prioritizations will be based on guidance from the state, including prioritizing older Pennsylvanians and those living in both urban and rural underserved communities with populations especially vulnerable to COVID – and will build on several initiatives already underway at UPMC Health Plan.
For example, we recently worked with the US Veterans Administration to identify UPMC Health Plan members who are veterans, contacted them to help them navigate the process to confirm eligibility for VA-administered vaccines, and scheduled them for vaccine appointments at the VA. Thus far, we have helped veterans who are part of the groups prioritized by the Pennsylvania Department of Health receive their vaccines.
What if I still need help to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment?
UPMC Health Plan is deploying our member concierge teams to provide scheduling, operational support, and assistance for county health departments, community health clinics and organizations, smaller providers, and community pharmacists that do not have the staff or resources to coordinate vaccination clinics. We have collaborated with community leaders in Pittsburgh’s Homewood and Hill District neighborhoods to coordinate patient outreach and registration for two community vaccination events, which included many at-risk UPMC Health Plan members.
Additionally, my team and I have been working hard to connect medically vulnerable members to any provider or community location with available vaccines. Whether it’s directly contacting pharmacies and other providers or using the state and other online databases to identify locations with vaccines and proactively outreaching to nearby members to schedule appointments, we are leaving no stone unturned as we await the expected increase in vaccine supply from the federal government. In fact, we have already helped many of our members schedule their vaccinations at pharmacies or other community locations.
What do I do if I am not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine yet?
As many wait for their group to be eligible, UPMC Health Plan continues to support our members physically, emotionally, and financially.
We have waived all cost-sharing for members for in-network COVID-19 inpatient treatment through April 20, 2021. Plus, UPMC Health Plan will continue to waive deductibles, copayments, and cost-sharing for in-network telehealth (virtual) visits from a health care provider, including UPMC AnywhereCare, through April 20, 2021, as permitted under state and federal emergency declarations.
We also have a free app, RxWell, that can help our members manage stress and anxiety, in addition to helping them make and maintain healthy lifestyle changes.
As always, you can call your Member Services representative or visit the UPMC and UPMC Health Plan websites at upmc.com/coronavirus and upmchealthplan.com/covid-19 for more information and resources.
Thank you for your patience while waiting as vaccines are deployed, and for reaching out to us. We know this process has not been easy and we continue to listen to your concerns and feedback. UPMC Health Plan is committed to finding ways to support the state’s vaccination priorities while keeping you healthy and safe during these challenging times.