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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is short for coronavirus disease 2019. A coronavirus is a category of virus that has been around for decades. COVID-19 is very serious because:

  • It spreads easily and quickly from person to person, by air droplets or by touch.
  • It is novel, or new, meaning there is no vaccine, proven treatment or cure.
  • It often causes severe respiratory problems that require hospital care. 

2. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste of smell

Visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Symptoms Self-Checker

3. Am I at risk of catching COVID-19?
Since COVID-19 is a new virus with no vaccine, no one is immune to it.
Still, certain people have a higher risk of getting it:

  • Health care workers
  • Front-line workers like waiters, attendants, cashiers and 
  • People who live and work in crowded areas
  • Those who primarily use public transportation

Some people are at high risk of getting very ill and dying from COVID-19. They include:

  • The elderly
  • People with lung problems
  • Those with heart problems
  • Adults with diabetes
  • People who are obese 
  • Those with multiple chronic health problems

4. What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?

  • If you feel sick, get medical help
  • Before you go to a doctor's office or emergency room, call first and tell them about your symptoms.

If you have any of these symptoms, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

5. Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

  • Call your doctor. Your doctor will decide if you need to be tested and will tell you where to go.
  • Search to find a COVID-19 test center near you. 
  • To find an in-network doctor or testing site, log in to Blue Access for MembersSM or call BCBSNM customer service at the number listed on your member ID card.

6. What will BCBSNM cover for COVID-19? 
Coverage will vary based on your plan. We may make changes to coverage relating to COVID-19 at any time. Go to What’s Covered for the most up-to-date information.

7. What can I do to stay healthy and keep others from getting COVID-19?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there is no vaccine at this time to prevent COVID-19. The best way to stop the virus is to not get exposed to it. But, keep in mind, CDC always suggests these everyday good habits to help stop the spread of breathing illnesses

  • Follow the CDC's recommendations for using a face covering.
  • Don't go near people who are sick.
  • Don't touch your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you're sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect often-touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

8. Where can I go for more details about COVID-19?
You can find a wealth of information on our COVID-19 site. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers up-to-date information about COVID-19.

9. Can I pay for my premium with a credit card?
Yes. At this time, you can make a one-time payment through Blue Access for MembersSM or over the phone.

10. What do I do if BCBSNM denied my claim?
If you have had a claim for COVID-19 treatment denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. There is a process in place to ask that the claim be reviewed.

Sometimes a claim is denied for something simple like a doctor or hospital using the wrong diagnosis code when filing the claim. Special codes have been created for COVID-19. Ask your provider to check or call us at the customer service number on your member ID card. If an appeal is needed, your customer advocate can walk you through next steps. You have 180 days to file an appeal on a denied claim.

Members of some regulated group health plans have longer to file an appeal, even if the claim is for care that isn’t related to COVID-19. New federal guidance says that certain dates during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic won’t count in the 180-day limit. Those are the days from March 1, 2020 to 60 days after the announced end of the national emergency due to the pandemic. That means any appeal filed for a denial made on or after Sept. 3, 2019 will still be treated as timely for the purposes of the appeals submission window.