UHA COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

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Updated June 8, 2021


For information on Coronavirus/COVID-19, click here.

COVID-19 Vaccine

A. As of May 12th, 2021, all Hawaii residents age 12 and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations.  If you are under 18 years old, you will need parental/guardian consent and you may be limited to a certain type of vaccine that you are authorized to take. Please refer to the Hawaii Department of Health COVID-19 vaccine page for updates.   

 
HDOH Phase 2 announcement
 

vaccine timeline
Source:
hawaiicovid19.com/vaccine

For the most detailed and up-to-date information, please see hawaiicovid19.com.

A.  Please refer to the HDOH COVID-19 vaccine registration page for links to help you find a location you can take your vaccination and how to register.  You can also search for available appointments by vaccine type here: https://vaccinefinder.org/search/.

A. The Department of Health has a new service for kupuna that simplifies the COVID-19 vaccination registration process. View the Department of Health news release here.
 
  • Seniors or family caregivers can call 2-1-1 to reach Aloha United Way’s team of trained specialists. This service is available seven days a week for those age 65 and older. Call 2-1-1 for personalized assistance in navigating the registration process and securing appointments. The team can also help eligible individuals arrange for transportation to a vaccination provider.

  • Aloha United Way’s 2-1-1 team is responsible for the initial intake process. Information is then securely electronically transferred to the St. Francis Healthcare System call center team. St. Francis will follow up with kupuna who have called AUW’s 2-1-1 within 24 to 48 hours.

A. For more information, please see your human resources manager or other company executive.

A. Schools are likely to have their own policies, so please contact your children’s principal. We also encourage you to talk to your children’s pediatrician, who will provide guidance knowing their health and medical history.

A. For information on potential side effects, please see cdc.gov. We also highly encourage you to talk to your primary care physician, who knows your health and medical history.

A. No. There is no co-pay to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, even from an out-of-network provider. As with the flu shot, this critical vaccine will be provided at $0 co-pay.

A. We highly encourage you to talk to your primary care physician, who knows your health and medical history.

A. The FDA has approved the COVID-19 vaccines. For more information, please see cdc.gov. We also highly encourage you to talk to your primary care physician, who knows your health and medical history.

A. For the most comprehensive and up-to-date information, please see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov.

A. Please see the Hawaii State Department of Health at hawaiicovid19.com/vaccine.

An executive summary of the State of Hawai‘i’s draft COVID-19 vaccination plan is available here or view the full draft plan here.


COVID-19 Testing

A. You do not need to be tested if:
  • you have been fully vaccinated and currently present no symptoms
  • you have tested positive for COVID-19 within 3 months prior and currently present no symptoms

If you are not fully vaccinated whether or not you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, start with a call to your doctor, who will determine if a test is medically appropriate for you in adherence to Hawaii DOH and CDC guidelines.

A. UHA will cover COVID-19 diagnostic testing when the test is, at the time of service, in accordance with updated CDC guidelines. Coverage is subject to change contingent upon evolving CDC guidelines. UHA will not cover non-diagnostic testing.

A. The CDC recommends the following individuals should obtain COVID-19 diagnostic testing:
  1. People who have symptoms of COVID-19 who are fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine should first be evaluated by their healthcare provider and be tested for COVID-19 if indicated to do so.
  2. People without symptoms of COVID-19 who are not fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine:
    • who have had close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19 (including a person who does not have symptoms within 10 days of their positive test result)
    • who have taken part in activities that put them at higher risk for COVID-19, such as attending large social or mass gatherings, or being in crowded indoor settings
    • who are prioritized for expanded community screening for COVID-19
    • who have been asked or referred to get tested by their school, workplace, healthcare provider, state, tribal, local, or territorial health department

Please review the remaining questions and answers as to whether UHA will provide coverage for a COVID-19 test in specific situations.

A. No. A screening test for COVID-19 is not covered by your UHA plan. A “screening test” for COVID-19 is a test administered to someone with no symptoms. The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do not currently recommend testing for people who do not have symptoms.

A. Start with a call to your doctor. If you’re sick and experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, and think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your doctor (primary care physician / PCP) for medical advice. If you’re able, monitor and report your temperature. Your doctor will determine whether you should be tested and can best instruct you on next best steps, including the most appropriate care location to visit and testing protocols.

A. Yes, UHA covers 100% for appropriate, medically necessary testing for COVID-19. The guidelines for testing are provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Hawaii Department of Health’s (HDOH). Current CDC guidelines can be found here.

A. UHA covers antibody tests (serology) when medically necessary and only if one of these CDC guideline criteria are met under the guidance of a provider:

  1. You have been ill for 9 to 14 days and CDC guidelines call for an antibody (blood) test plus the standard COVID-19 (nose swab) test for a more conclusive diagnosis.
  2. Your child has complications that his or her physician determines is related to COVID-19, such as an inflammatory syndrome in children (e.g., as Kawasaki disease or an illness similar to toxic shock).

The test is not currently designed to test individuals wanting to know if they have been previously infected with COVID-19.

Furthermore, the American Medical Association has taken a position on not using serology testing for the sole determination of immunity to COVID-19 secondary to testing limitations along with potential false positive and/or negative results. Read their guidance here.

Therefore, UHA will not pay for antibody tests if the test is solely to show immunity to COVID-19.

A. No. UHA does not cover COVID-19 testing for travel purposes.

A. COVID-19 tests intended for at-home testing are covered when the test is ordered by an attending health care provider who has determined that the test is medically appropriate for the individual based on current accepted standards of medical practice and the test otherwise meets federal statutory criteria. The guidelines for testing are provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Hawaii Department of Health’s (HDOH). Current CDC guidelines can be found here.

A. Assuming your purchase of the COVID-19 at-home test meets the criteria described above in Q9, UHA will cover 100%. Contact Customer Services for assistance with filing your claim. For additional details on UHA's claims process click here.


General Questions

A. UHA covers telehealth visits with participating providers at 100%.* We encourage you to seek care from your primary care physician first. Your own doctor will know your medical history and needs best. If your physician is not a participating provider, UHA may cover some costs but you will be responsible for any additional charges that exceed UHA’s standard rates.

Visit our Telehealth page at https://uhahealth.com/telehealth to learn more.

*Telehealth covered at 100% of eligible charges with no copay or deductibles when rendered by a participating provider in UHA’s network. This level of coverage valid only for the duration of the federal COVID-19 state of emergency. The conditions for the coverage of telehealth copays can be found in UHA’s current Telehealth Services payment policy. Or call UHA to find out more.

A. UHA members will have expanded access to UHA’s team of RN Care Specialists and clinical team to answer questions about accessing medical care, medications or how to care for yourself at home. Call (808) 532-4006, or toll free at 1-(800) 458-4600, ext. 300, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

UHA covers telehealth visits with participating providers at 100%.* We encourage you to seek care from your primary care physician first. Your own doctor will know your medical history and needs best. If you don’t have a primary care physician, you may access virtual care from the resources below. Standard benefits apply when members have a telehealth visit with a non-participating provider.**

*Telehealth covered at 100% of eligible charges with no copay or deductibles when rendered by a participating provider in UHA’s network. This level of coverage valid only for the duration of the federal COVID-19 state of emergency. The conditions for the coverage of telehealth copays can be found in UHA’s current Telehealth Services payment policy. Or call UHA to find out more.

**Unless the non-participating provider telehealth service is related to a COVID-19 diagnosis.

 

Virtual Care Resources
 

The Queen's Health Systems COVID-19 Hotline

If you are experiencing symptoms you believe may be linked to COVID-19, talk to a Registered Nurse and get your questions answered.
Hours: 24/7
COVID-19 Infoline:808-691-2619
(Dial 1 first if calling from a neighbor island.)
Website: www.queens.org/covid19/what-queens-is-doing
 
 

Hawai'i Pacific Health

Hawai’i Pacific Health COVID-19 Virtual Clinic for Video and Phone Visits
The Virtual Clinic’s purpose is to address patients with signs and symptoms of COVID-19 who are well enough to be evaluated without coming to the office and others who have concerns about COVID-19 exposure.
Patients should reach out to their own primary care physician (PCP) for treatment and guidance before contacting the Virtual Clinic. Patients without a PCP are encouraged to contact the Virtual Clinic directly.
Hours: 8AM – 8PM
Phone:808-462-5430 (press option 2)
Website: https://www.hawaiipacifichealth.org/hph-covid-19-updates/covid-19-testing

MyChart
Connect with your PCP for non-COVID related health issues via MyChart. You can message your doctor or send an electronic visit request.

 

 

First Vitals

For mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19, telehealth consults can help reduce the novel coronavirus from spreading from person to person and is a more efficient way to receive initial care. Book a 15-minute video consult with a medical professional at: http://www.covidhawaii.com.
 

 

A. For those experiencing flu-like symptoms without shortness of breath and no history of serious medical problems that could compromise your health, going to an urgent care facility is appropriate. Please call the urgent care facility in advance to get any pre-arrival instructions that will help prevent spreading of your illness to others.

However, go immediately to the emergency room if you have any of the following: a rapid pulse, a temperature of over 103 degrees lasting for several days or shortness of breath.

A. Effective March 1, 2020 and until the federal COVID-19 state of emergency ends, coinsurance requirements are waived for these services when related to a COVID-19 diagnosis. This includes:

  • Doctor’s office visits
  • Urgent care facilities
  • Emergency room
  • Telehealth visits
  • Virtual check-in
  • E-visits

A. Yes. All copay, coinsurance, or deductible coinsurance requirements are waived and UHA will provide 100% of the eligible charge for medically necessary hospitalization with a UHA participating facility and their UHA participating providers related to a COVID-19 diagnosis. At this time, the waiver applies to all admissions with a date of service from April 1 to December 31, 2020.

For help finding a participating provider in UHA’s network, visit the UHA provider search tool.

A. UHA encourages our members to limit any necessary trips to the pharmacy by utilizing their 90-day mail-order benefit or the extended fill available though most UHA-participating retail pharmacies within the Express Scripts network. Learn more here.

You can sign up for mail order delivery to your home for free. Just visit Express-Scripts.com to sign up. Once you are enrolled, they will even contact your physician when your prescription runs out.

A. UHA’s Pharmacy Benefits Manager, Express Scripts, is closely monitoring the global manufacturing environment. At this time, they don’t see any disruptions to the supply chain that will affect their ability to fill prescriptions for UHA members, now and in the near future. Given the fluid nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, Express Scripts will continue to monitor the situation and work with their suppliers as needed. UHA will continue to work with Express Scripts to address issues and service our members.

A. To ensure that we can be here for you, we’ve been actively working with UHA’s own associates to safeguard their health. To the extent possible, our associates have begun telecommuting and practicing several other social distancing measures so we can continue to serve our members, employers and providers.

A. We recommend the following government web sites for general information about coronavirus during this time:

https://www.cdc.gov
https://health.hawaii.gov/docd/advisories/novel-coronavirus-2019/

A. The process for COVID-19 related claims is new to everyone, it's possible there may be mistakes made. Rest assured, we will work quickly to resolve any issues. We appreciate your patience as we work through this.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Customer Services.

Customer Services
Phone: (808) 532-4000
Toll free: (800) 458-4600

A. UHA is committed to your health. This pandemic has led to a multitude of changes for Hawaii’s workforce. For those who have been let go by their employers or have had their hours reduced, we have resources to help you stay informed and navigate your options.

 

Individual Plan Transition Resources

  • To check if you’re eligible for Medicaid and to learn more about how you can apply, visit medquest.hawaii.gov for more information.
  • For other individual health plan options and possible subsidies to help receive coverage, visit the Federal Marketplace at healthcare.gov.
 

If after reviewing these online resources, you find that you need further assistance, contact Customer Services to speak to a representative.

Customer Services
(808) 532-4000
1 (800) 458-4600 (toll free)
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Additional Resources

A.The Department of Health developed a new program, Kū Makani—The Hawai‘i Resiliency Project, offering dedicated crisis counseling to callers facing emotional fallout related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 
  • Kū Makani has an array of services to help residents experiencing anxiety, depression, panic or just feeling overwhelmed by the challenges of the pandemic.

  • This is a FREE service.

  • To reach a trained Kū Makani counselor, call the Hawai’I CARES hotline:
    • Oahu – (808) 832-3100
    • Neighbor Islands: Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii – 1 (800) 753-6879
    • Kū Makani crisis counseling hours:
      • 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Monday-Friday
      • 9:00a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

  • Visit the Kū Makani website and social media for detail about the program, services, upcoming events, and island-specific resources: kumakani.org

  • For non-pandemic counseling and services, including crisis support, mental health resources and substance use treatment services, you may always call the Hawai‘i CARES hotline 24/7 at 1 (800) 753-6879 or text “ALOHA” to 741741.