Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)

Medical Plan Updates: 01/11/2021


UnitedHealthCare (UHC)

  • UHC provided members with information on what is known about the COVID-19 vaccines.
    • Based on Phase 3 trials…
      • Pfizer-BioNTech was 95% effective at preventing COVID-19 in people age 16 and older
      • Moderna was 94% effective at preventing COVID-19 in people age 18 and older
    • Vaccines can take several weeks, after the second dose, to get protection
    • The duration of protection against COVID-19 is unknown
    • Side effects of the vaccine may feel similar to the flu, but should go away in a few days
  • Effective January 1, 2021, members will be responsible for any cost share associated with COVID-19 in-network telehealth treatment. Members will also be responsible for the cost share of in-network telehealth visits not related to COVID-19.
  • Through January 31, 2021, UHC has extended coverage at no cost share for the following:
    • Medically necessary inpatient COVID-19 treatment with a COVID-19 diagnosis
    • Ground emergency ambulance transportation, if the member is admitted to the hospital for inpatient COVID-19 treatment



  • To provide a better understanding of the COVID-19 vaccines, Cigna provided members with answers to commonly asked questions. Information included…
    • Distribution of the vaccine will be rolled out in three phases:
      • Phase I: Frontline health care workers; residents and staff of skilled nursing and assisted living facilities; and police, fire, and emergency medical service workers
      • Phase II: People with high-risk or underlying medical conditions; people age 65 and older; and workers in essential and critical industries
      • Phase III: The general public (estimated for distribution by mid-2021)
    • Cigna will cover the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine as a preventive service
    • Members should continue to wear masks and practice social distancing until enough people have been vaccinated to control the spread of the virus


Kaiser Permanente (Kaiser)

  • Due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County and its impact on hospital and outpatient medical care, the number of physicians, nurses, and care team members are limited; therefore, Kaiser’s focus has shifted to urgent, emergency, and time sensitive care.
    • As a result, message and call centers and other support operations, are experiencing delayed email responses and historically high call volumes with longer wait times
  • Kaiser has extended no-cost, medically necessary COVID-19 treatment through March 31, 2021, or as long as the national public health emergency lasts.
  • The Moderna vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for immediate emergency use as a COVID-19 vaccine. Limited supplies have arrived at Kaiser locations statewide.
  • The vaccines are currently being administered to people who meet Phase I eligibility.
    • Eligible members can also visit org/covidvaccine for information on how they can schedule vaccine appointments
  • To hear the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines, members can call (855) 550-0951. Information is available in English and Spanish, 24 hours per day.
  • Kaiser has extended the availability of flu shots through March 31, 2021.  At no additional cost, members can continue to receive flu shots at selected retail locations and pharmacies (i.e. CVS, Walgreens, and Costco).


Anthem Blue Cross

  • No update provided


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The Department of Human Resources (DHR) works closely with the County-sponsored medical plans available to our employees, and receives regular updates concerning the COVID-19 crisis.  Watch this page for weekly news, as well as any urgent updates on how to get treatment and new recommendations concerning social distancing, self-quarantine, and more.