Coronavirus COVID-19 Update

 

 UPDATE (May 5, 2020)

McLaren Health Plan Donates 3,000 Hand Sanitizers to Agencies, Vendor

McLaren Health Plan gives away mini bottles of hand sanitizer – along with many other logo items, such as pens, notepads, mugs, etc. – at community events throughout the year. With the coronavirus pandemic in full-swing, events have been canceled, so the hand sanitizers have been sitting with the rest of the giveaways in boxes at the office, not being used.

With the need for hand sanitizer at an all-time high, Tami Cuccia, quality supervisor, had an idea. Why not donate the hand sanitizers to our McLaren Health Plan partners who are working every day to help our members in the community?

With the help of Michelle Young, outreach representative, and Bob Warren, material clerk, Tami organized a hand sanitizer distribution to 10 Federally Qualified Health Centers. Bob counted, packed and shipped and Tami and Michelle personally dropped off hand sanitizers to health centers in Lansing, Bay City, to the “Tip of the Mitt” in Alcona, Flint, Kalamazoo and places in between. More than 3,000 bottles were distributed, including some to Allegra Marketing and Printing in Okemos.

In a twist of fate, McLaren Health Plan purchased the hand sanitizers from Allegra – a full-service marketing and print communications company that also provides logo promotional items – earlier this year.

“Our production team is committed to keeping the work of our essential clients moving through the pandemic,” said Dave Muhleck, owner. “Since the beginning of the shutdown, hand sanitizer has been unavailable. McLaren Health Plan was kind enough to donate to us 100 units they had purchased through us so that my team could remain safely protected.”

 


UPDATE (April 16, 2020)

As we monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation, McLaren Health Plan encourages you to continue to follow all recommended federal and state guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at www.cdc.gov and those located at www.michigan.gov/coronavirus.

Other COVID-19 information to keep in mind:

  • Symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath may appear 2-14 days after exposure. If you develop any of these emergency warning signs for COVID-19, seek medical attention immediately.

    www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/index.html

  • Michigan currently remains under the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order through the end of April. Continue to practice social distancing measures when in public by staying six feet away from people. Limit the number of household members running errands when possible. Wear a mask (homemade is fine) when in public and wash your hands with soap and warm water as soon as you return home.

    www.michigan.gov/whitner/0,9309,7-387-90499-525173--,00.html

    www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

  • If you have children age 5-18 enrolled in the Michigan Department of Education program for students eligible for free or reduced-priced lunches, there are food assistance benefits available due to the school closures because of the coronavirus pandemic. For more information, go to:

https://www.michigan.gov/som/0,4669,7-192-29942_73920_74076-525248--,00.html

McLaren Health Plan's team of employees are following all recommended guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic, including working from home. The company still is open, fully staffed and available to assist you during regular business hours of Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please call 888-327-0671 (TTY: 711) if you have any questions or concerns.


UPDATE (April 8, 2020)

McLaren Health Plan is working hard every day to make sure you are getting the care you need during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We’ve eliminated cost-sharing for both in-network and out-of-network testing for COVID-19. This includes lab services and items and services related to when or how you get the test. McLaren Health Plan also is waiving office visit copays, deductibles and coinsurance associated with COVID-19. These services can take place at a doctor’s office, urgent care center, telehealth visit or at a hospital.

The coronavirus continues to affect all of us; please do your part to combat the spread. As medical professionals have indicated, we not only need to protect ourselves, but act to protect those around us.

The “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order from Governor Whitmer means that you must stay in your home unless you are part of the essential workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity or performing a task necessary to the health and safety of you or your family. When you do have to go out, it is now recommended that you wear a mask over your mouth and nose.

Here’s what you CAN do during the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order:

Go to the grocery store, pharmacy, gas station, or pick up take-out food.

Only one person should leave your home to do these errands. Even if family members are symptom-free, this minimizes risk to your family and every person with whom you interact.

Return to a home or residence in Michigan from outside of the state or leave Michigan to go to a home or residence elsewhere.

This isn’t giving permission to take a vacation or visit friends or relatives or gather socially, but to allow you to come back to your home in Michigan or to leave Michigan for a home or residence elsewhere.

Engage in outdoor activities, such as walking, hiking, running, biking, walking your pets (and taking them to the vet for needed medical care).

It’s OK to go outside in your own yard, neighborhood and wide-open spaces. Be sure to maintain social distancing practices by keeping at least six feet between one another when others are nearby.

Here’s what you CAN’T do:

  • Leave your home to work unless your employer designated you as a critical infrastructure worker.
  • Participate in any public gatherings
  • Visit someone in the hospital, nursing home or other residential care facilities (with limited exceptions)

Information about COVID-19 continues to change rapidly. McLaren Health Plan will provide regular updates. For more information, go to www.Michigan.gov/coronavirus and www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

 

The Good News

Amid the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, there are companies and organizations – too many to list – that have stepped up and become a beacon of hope, doing what they can to help. From the auto industry’s shift to producing ventilators to restaurants and coffee shops providing free meals to medical workers, there are people doing good during this pandemic. Maybe the Mr. Rogers quote about looking for “the helpers” is just what we need right now. Click to expand below for some good news stories to brighten your day.

The Good News...Stories of hope during trying times -click to expand

Fred Rogers, the beloved and longtime host of television’s Mister Rogers Neighborhood, was known for telling children who were experiencing something scary to “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

“Help” can be defined in many ways. Here are some Michigan stories of helpers doing good deeds during the pandemic.

  • Michigan State Police troopers at the Cadillac Post participated in a police parade for a Manistee boy’s fifth birthday. The boy watched from his driveway as officers from the area drove by and waved.
  • Trained staff at Vicinia Gardens Assisted Living of Fenton moved in to care for residents during the pandemic. The healthy staff quarantined on-site and are taking turns caring for residents, organizing activities and increasing communication with families who are unable to visit.
  • When Curtis Flowers of Flint Township closed its doors due to the pandemic, they still had flowers in their coolers. They decided to share their stock with a “Free Flowers Friday” by putting bunches of flowers on their porch and advertising on their sign for friends to stop by.
  • Growing up in New York, two best friends remained close even when one moved to Michigan. “Rainbows over Staten Island” is a Facebook group that shows paintings of rainbows on neighborhood doors and windows for inspiration. “Rainbows over Michigan” was launched March 21 and now has over 100,000 followers.
  • The Detroit Lions partner with the Empowerment Plan, a Detroit-based non-profit that employs displaced single parents to make coats that convert into sleeping bags, fighting the issue of homelessness on two fronts. A combination of team and personal funding helped the Empowerment Plan pivot to produce masks and gowns, providing a critical need during this health crisis.

UPDATE (3/31/2020)

The coronavirus or COVID-19 continues to be very serious and contagious. McLaren Health Plan is monitoring the situation and will bring you updates as they become available.

Telemedicine Visits

 The best thing you can do right now is to stay at home. If you or a family member is feeling sick or experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or shortness of breath), call your doctor for a telemedicine visit. A telemedicine visit is a visit that can be done over the phone. This is a good way to help prevent the spread of infections like COVID-19. There is no office visit copay for telemedicine visits for services related to COVID-19 through May 31, 2020.

Virtuwell

McLaren Health Plan will waive the online office visit copay through www.Virtuwell.com for members* who use it for symptoms of the coronavirus. This online option allows members to have a virtual office visit with a board-certified nurse practitioner. The office visit copay will be waived through May 31, 2020 for services related to COVID-19.

*McLaren Health Plan Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan members do not have Virtuwell included as part of their benefits.

Testing

Your doctor will determine if you need the COVID-19 test and will tell you what to do next. McLaren Health Plan will cover the cost of medically necessary COVID-19 tests for all members with no member cost-sharing for both in-network and out-of-network providers. McLaren Health Plan will also waive the costs of items and services related to the furnishing or administration of the testing provided to you during a health care provider office visit, urgent care center, an emergency room visit, or through a telehealth visit.

Prior Authorizations

McLaren Health Plan has removed the requirements for prior authorizations for inpatient services related to COVID-19 for both in-network and out-of-network hospitals. We also removed prior authorization requirements for in-network non-COVID-19 inpatient stays to help make room for COVID-19 patients.

Early Prescription Refills

McLaren Health Plan has waived or removed the early refill edits for all lines of business for all medications (except for controlled substances) for the duration of the declared state of emergency.

Here are some downloads from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that contain useful information:

COVID-19 factsheet

COVID-19 symptoms

Stop the spread of germs

What to do if you are sick

 

UPDATE (3/12/2020)

The health and safety of all McLaren Health Plan members is of utmost importance. As information unfolds about the coronavirus or COVID-19, our medical directors and health experts are staying on top of the latest updates from the Centers for Disease Control.

McLaren Health Plan (MHP) will fully cover the cost of medically-necessary COVID-19 tests for all members.

Most cases of COVID-19 are mild respiratory illnesses. Similar to testing for other infectious diseases, such as the flu, the first step is a full evaluation by your primary care provider.

hand washing

Contact your doctor or health care provider before seeking testing for COVID-19.

The CDC offers the following guidelines to help reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve – not your hands.
    Throw away the tissue into the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Other good advice:

  • Stay informed. Listen to your doctor and other medical experts.
  • Don’t panic. Beware of misinformation on the internet and on social media.

McLaren Health Plan will update this information as more becomes available.