Last updated May 8, 2023
Important Notice: The Biden Administration has announced that May 11, 2023, will be the final day of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) declaration, which has been in effect since January 2020. When the PHE ends, the processing of COVID-19 claims will follow the standard processing of your health plan.
For more information, please visit the COVID-19 PHE Transition Roadmap.
WPS is actively monitoring the current international and domestic environment for COVID-19 as well as the related risks so we can prepare accordingly. On this page, you’ll find links to information about COVID-19, related news, and information on what WPS is doing to help our customers.
Note: The content below is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
If you have Medicare:
Refer to the CMS website for COVID-19 coverage.
If you have a pharmacy benefits administrator other than Express Scripts, please contact them for questions on reimbursement. Supported testing (Say Yes!) are available through May, while supplies last.
It’s a new coronavirus strain that causes respiratory illness. Originating in Wuhan City, China, the virus has infected thousands of people worldwide and caused deaths. Cases have now been reported around the world. The World Health Organization named the disease caused by the new coronavirus on Feb. 11, 2020. The new name is COVID-19, short for “coronavirus disease 2019.”
Common signs of infection include:
In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and death.
People with heart and lung disease or weakened immune systems, as well as infants and older adults, are at higher risk for lower respiratory tract illness.
Human coronaviruses are usually spread from an infected person to others through the air by coughing and sneezing and through close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands.
Immunizations are an essential and highly effective way to prevent infectious disease in large populations. WPS will cover initial doses, as well as an additional booster dose as recommended by your doctor and in accordance with the latest CDC guidelines.
Under the CARES Act passed in November 2020, individuals with health coverage can get COVID-19 vaccine shots, including a booster dose, and associated administration fees, without any cost sharing. That means you don’t have to pay for the vaccine! Recipients of Medicare can get the vaccine at no charge. The CARES Act does not apply to short-term health plans, so if you have this type of plan, coverage may vary. Check with your health insurer for details.
Note: Health care providers may not seek any reimbursement, including through balance billing, from the vaccine recipient. See the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website for details.
According to the CDC, the vaccine is generally safe. Although there are exceptions, especially for those with certain allergies, the vaccines have undergone rigorous safety testing. Check with your physician to see if the vaccine is safe for you.
The CDC has more information about the vaccination approval process and ongoing safety monitoring. The CDC also has more about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines on its Vaccinate with Confidence page.
The CDC recommends that everyone 5 years of age and older get immunized against COVID-19 as soon as possible.
Probably not, although it could depend on your location and the availability of the vaccines.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two immunizations given a few weeks apart. The Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine requires one immunization. Vaccines can take up to several weeks after the final dose to provide protection, so be sure to take precautions after getting immunized.
The duration of the protection is still unknown.
There can be, but most are mild. The most common are fever, chills, fatigue, headaches, and pain and swelling in the arm where you received the shot. A COVID-19 vaccination cannot give you the coronavirus.
The CDC recommends that you continue to follow its recommended guidelines:
Unfortunately, scammers have been trying to exploit people during the pandemic. The Medicare website has more information about vaccine-related scams, and the Federal Trade Commission has information about how to protect yourself from other COVID-19 scams.
Note: WPS Medicare supplement customers have access to ScamAssist™ Fraud Review Service* that may help prevent them from being victimized.
Wisconsin Department of Health Services: COVID-19 Vaccine: What You Need to Know
For people covered by original fee-for-service Medicare, Medicare pays for COVID-19 diagnostic tests performed by a laboratory, such as PCR and antigen tests, with no beneficiary cost sharing when the test is ordered by a physician, non-physician practitioner, pharmacist, or other authorized health care professional. People with Medicare can access one lab performed test without cost-sharing per patient per year without an order. Effective April 2022, people who have Medicare Part B will be able to get up to eight (8) COVID-19 over-the-counter (OTC) tests each calendar month until the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Medicare covers all medically necessary hospitalizations.
You can call the number on the back of your ID card for answers.
Vaccines are an essential and highly effective way to prevent infectious disease in large populations. WPS does cover immunizations as directed.
Most of these supplies are not currently covered by Medicare or insurance plans in general.
The Internal Revenue Service urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for a surge of scam phone calls and email phishing attempts about the coronavirus, or COVID-19. The schemes are related to the economic impact payments being issued by the U.S. government.
Beware of solicitors who try to sell you a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test kit.
If you are called by anyone other than your attending physician, please do not provide personal or health-related information. Never give your bank or credit card information to any solicitor over the phone.
Given the rapidly evolving nature of this disease, the above guidance is subject to change.
*Fraud review service is not a part of the insurance policy and enrollment is subject to contract renewal. The service provider is not responsible or liable for the availability, safety, accuracy, or effectiveness of the techniques, products, tools, or resources used by the service provider in its ScamAssist™ service and your access and use of ScamAssist™ is entirely at your own risk.