Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The County of San Diego is currently vaccinating individuals 6 months and older. You do not need to contact your doctor before your — or your child’s — appointment unless you have a specific medical question. For the latest COVID-19 vaccine information, please visit Sharp HealthCare’s website. You can also reference this COVID-19 Vaccination Schedule from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
How can I get my vaccine?
You can schedule an appointment at a San Diego County vaccination site through MyTurn, an online scheduling tool. When you visit their website, it may ask you to select an appointment type. Please select COVID-19. (Note: members must access flu vaccines as directed by their Plan Medical Group or they may be billed. For the best member experience, we do not recommend making a flu vaccine appointment through MyTurn). You can also call 2-1-1 for help scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine.
You can visit CVS Minute Clinic to receive the COVID-19 vaccine throughout San Diego County. You can schedule an appointment here.
For more information on how to get the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit Sharp HealthCare’s website.
I’m homebound and can't make it to a COVID-19 vaccine clinic. What should I do?
Sharp Health Plan and our plan medical groups are doing outreach to members who have been identified as homebound (or unable to leave their home due to illness or old age) to ensure that anyone who can't get to a COVID-19 vaccination site is still able to get vaccinated. If you are homebound and your primary care physician or plan medical group has not reached out to you to schedule your COVID-19 vaccination, please contact our Customer Care team so that we can assist you.
How do I replace my lost vaccination card?
Now you can show digital proof of your vaccination. If you were vaccinated in California, go to myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov and enter your info to access it. (We recommend that you use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari for the best experience.)
You can also request proof of vaccination through the San Diego Immunization Registry (SDIR) by filling out the SDIR form. For more information, please contact SDIR at 1-619-692-5656 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is the vaccine covered under my benefits?
Yes. The vaccine is covered at $0 under your preventive care benefits.
Is Sharp offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots?
Yes. Sharp is offering booster shots to those who are eligible. To see who is eligible for booster shots at this time, please visit Sharp HealthCare’s website. If you are eligible for a booster shot, it will be covered at $0 under your preventive care benefits.
What is the difference between an additional dose and a booster shot?
To provide the best possible protection for immunocompromised individuals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends an additional (third) dose for those who received either Pfizer or Moderna for their initial series. This third dose is not considered a booster shot. If you are immunocompromised, you are eligible for an additional dose 28 days after the second dose of your Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Research shows that the immune system of many immunocompromised individuals does not produce the same response that a two-shot course produces in healthy people. If you are immunocompromised, the third dose of the vaccine will be covered at $0 under your preventive care benefits.
The CDC and FDA approved booster shots for healthy individuals because research has shown that the vaccine effectiveness begins to wane after 6 months. For more information on booster shots please visit Sharp HealthCare’s website.
Where can I learn more about the vaccine?
Please visit the County’s website and Sharp HealthCare’s website for up-to-date information about COVID-19 and the vaccine.
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes respiratory illness — an infection of the airways and lungs. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus. It’s part of the same family of coronaviruses that includes the common cold.
How can I get free N95 face masks?
The Biden administration is making N95 high-filtration face masks available for free. Three masks will be given out per person pending availability. According to White House officials, a limited number of masks are available now, with more arriving in coming days, and the program will be fully running by early February 2022. Nearly all the pharmacies and community health care centers that participated in the government’s free vaccine program have agreed to be pickup points for the free mask program. This means most major chains, such as CVS Pharmacy®, Rite Aid® and Walgreens® will have them, along with many independent locations. You may want to call in advance to ensure a location has masks available for pickup.
How can I protect myself?
The best way to prevent infection is to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA has authorized three vaccines that have proven to be up to 95% effective in protecting against COVID-19. Be sure everyone in your family who is eligible for the vaccine is vaccinated against COVID-19.
What are the everyday preventive actions I should be taking?
The best way to prevent infection is to get vaccinated. The CDC also recommends these everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of respiratory viruses:
- Wear an approved face covering
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you're sick.
- Cover your entire mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. If a tissue is unavailable, cough or sneeze into your bent elbow.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Does the CDC recommend the use of face masks or face coverings to prevent COVID-19?
Yes, the CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face mask or face covering to cover their nose and mouth in community settings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This recommendation is in light of new data about how COVID-19 spreads and evidence of widespread COVID-19 illness in communities across the country. Wearing a cloth face mask or face covering in public is a health and safety precaution that you should take in addition to physical distancing, frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions. Cloth face coverings may prevent the spread of the virus from the wearer to others, which is especially important if someone is infected but does not have symptoms. It’s important to wear a cloth face covering every time that you must enter a public setting (grocery stores, for example). Medical masks and N-95 respirators are reserved for health care workers and other first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance. For more information, please see the latest face covering guidance from the County of San Diego.
What is Sharp doing to protect patients, visitors and staff during this time?
Sharp HealthCare’s top priority is the safety and well-being of patients, visitors and staff. Please visit sharp.com/coronavirus for the latest information, such as the following:
- Hospital visitation guidelines
- How Sharp is screening and testing patients
- How to get care
- Infection prevention measures
- Sharp classes and events
We encourage you to check Sharp’s COVID-19 page
often for updates.
Where can I get more information?
To learn more about COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency. If you have additional questions, please call 211 San Diego.
We also encourage you to visit sharp.com/coronavirus for the latest information from Sharp.
Access to care
When will Sharp HealthCare resume scheduling elective and essential surgeries and procedures?
Sharp has begun the resumption of elective and essential surgeries and procedures, but not at the same levels prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have questions about a procedure or surgery that was postponed, please contact your physician.
Can I still go to MinuteClinic?
Yes. You can still visit MinuteClinic®. Please visit the MinuteClinic page on our website for additional information.
Benefits and coverage
Will my benefits cover isolation and quarantine for the diagnosis of COVID-19?
Sharp Health Plan covers medically necessary isolation and quarantine in the hospital. We do not cover home isolation or quarantine.
What are my options if I have been recently affected by income changes, reduced hours, or layoffs?
If your current coverage has been impacted by recent events, you likely qualify for the special enrollment expansion. Learn more about the special enrollment expansion or start an application by getting a quote.
Read more FAQs about special enrollment ➜
I have an individual and family plan, but due to the coronavirus, I need to make adjustments. What should I do?
If you purchased your coverage directly through Sharp Health Plan and need to make changes to your current plan, you have the following options:
If you purchased your plan through Covered California™ and would like to report an income change, add or remove a dependent, or change your plan, log in to your Covered California account.
What is contact tracing?
Contact tracing is a method of disease control that local, state and federal public health officials have been practicing for decades. It helps keep communities safe by identifying people who may have come into contact with an infected person. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, contact tracing and self-quarantining of people with COVID-19, and close contacts, is critical to slowing transmission of COVID-19 in our communities. For more information, check out this Sharp Health News article on the importance of contact tracing.
How does contact tracing for COVID-19 work?
If you test positive for COVID-19, your doctor or another health official will let you know. A positive case must be reported to County Public Health Services so that each confirmed case can be used to help identify others who may have been exposed. When a confirmed COVID-19 case is investigated by public health staff, the investigator works with the infected person to identify all close contacts they may have exposed. Contact tracers then attempt to get in touch with these contacts so that they can be self-quarantined at home and monitored for symptoms of COVID-19. For more information, watch this short video from the County of San Diego Communications Office.
Who conducts COVID-19 contact tracing and how?
Contact tracing is conducted by local and state public health officials. If you had contact with someone infected with COVID-19, you may first get a text message from the health department telling you that you’ll get a call from a specific telephone number. When the contact tracer calls, they will identify themselves as being part of the county, and let you know that all information gathered during the contact tracing effort is kept confidential. Contact tracers will not ask you for personal information such as your Social Security number, bank account or credit card information. Anyone who does is a scammer.
How do I spot a contact tracing scam?
According to the Federal Trade Commission, scammers pretending to be contact tracers are taking advantage of how the process works, and are also sending text messages. You can spot spam text messages because they’ll ask you to click a link. Unlike a legitimate text message from a health department, which only wants to let you know they’ll be calling, text messages from scammers include a link to click.
Testing and treatment
Where can I get tested for COVID-19?
Call your doctor first if you are concerned about possible exposure to COVID-19, or are experiencing symptoms such as a cough, fever or shortness of breath. Your doctor will assess your situation and recommend where you should be seen. In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you stay home and treat mild symptoms. Not all patients need to be tested. Testing is provided based on a risk assessment recommended by the CDC.
Is medically necessary COVID-19 testing covered by my insurance?
Yes. Sharp Health Plan covers COVID-19 testing when an authorized health care provider gives the test or has referred you to get a test for personal diagnosis or treatment. COVID-19 diagnostic testing is covered for members with or without symptoms, whether or not you have been exposed to COVID-19. Medically necessary testing and related items and services are covered at no cost to you.
Is COVID-19 testing required by my employer covered by my insurance?
No. Non-diagnostic testing required for employment or public health surveillance is generally not covered. Non-diagnostic tests are tests related to public health surveillance, general workplace health and safety, or for other purposes not primarily intended for individualized diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19 (e.g., when an employer or other entity requires repeated or mass testing for surveillance or employment purposes).
Are at-home COVID-19 tests covered by my insurance?
No. Health plans are not required to cover at-home tests for Medicare members at this time.
How many at-home tests can I submit for reimbursement?
Sharp Health Plan will cover 8 individual at-home COVID-19 tests per month for each member. Tests may be packaged individually or with multiple tests in one package (for example, two tests packaged in one box).
How do I get reimbursed for at-home tests?
To request reimbursement, you’ll need to complete our at-home COVID-19 test member reimbursement form. You will need the brand name and the Universal Product Code (UPC) from the at-home test box to complete the form. An itemized sales receipt is also required. The UPC is listed underneath the barcode and is typically a 12-digit number.
How long will it take to get my reimbursement?
It will take us 30 days from the date we receive your request to process your reimbursement. If your request is approved, you’ll receive a check for your total reimbursement amount by mail. If your request is denied, you will be notified by mail. If you have questions about your reimbursement, please contact Customer Care.
What if I need more than 8 at-home tests per month?
If your provider determines that it is medically necessary for you to purchase more than 8 at-home tests in a single month, then you will need to get a physician’s order from them and submit it along with your member reimbursement form.
Are at-home COVID-19 tests covered for Medicare members?
If you are enrolled in one of our Sharp Direct Advantage® plans, please visit our Medicare COVID-19 resource center for more information.
What is the Test to Treat program?
The United States government created the Test to Treat program as part of its National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan to allow all individuals to be tested for COVID-19 and treated with prescription medication, if needed. In this program, people are able to get tested and – if they are positive and treatments are appropriate for them – receive a prescription from a health care provider, and have their prescription filled all in one location at no cost. These one-stop Test to Treat sites are available at hundreds of locations nationwide, including pharmacy-based clinics, community health centers and long-term care facilities. You can view Test to Treat locations on the California Department of Public Health’s website. If you think you have COVID-19, you can go directly to a Test to Treat location site. No referral is needed from your doctor.
How can I get a prescription for Paxlovid or Molnupiravir (Lagevrio)?
Paxlovid and Molnupiravir (Lagevrio) are antiviral medicines that can help you fight COVID-19. These treatments aren’t right for everyone. If one of these treatments is determined to be medically necessary for you, you can get a prescription from your primary care physician, a Test to Treat location or a state-licensed, in-network retail pharmacy like CVS or Walgreens. Please note that you will need to provide your latest medical records and a list of currently prescribed medications to get a prescription from an in-network pharmacy. Please also note that quantity limits and fill restrictions apply to these medications. Please refer to the Sharp Health Plan drug formulary for formulary restrictions.
Will Sharp Health Plan cover the cost of COVID-19 treatment?
Sharp Health Plan’s policy includes coverage for inpatient and outpatient services related to COVID-19 treatment. Services must be provided by Plan providers affiliated with your Plan Medical Group (PMG), unless your PMG has authorized the service in advance, or it is an emergency service. You are responsible for any copay, coinsurance or deductible related to these services to treat COVID-19 or to diagnose COVID-19.
Does Sharp Health Plan cover antibody tests for COVID-19?
Sharp Health Plan will cover, without cost share, serological (antibody) tests that are ordered by an in-network physician or authorized provider, medically necessary, and provided by an in-network laboratory. Sharp Health Plan does not cover serological (antibody) tests for return to work or school, general health surveillance, or self-surveillance or self-diagnosis. Please refer to the CDC website for the most recent guidance on antibody testing.
How can I get free at-home COVID-19 tests?
The Biden Administration is distributing free at-home at-home COVID-19 tests to every home in the U.S. You can order tests online at COVIDTests.gov. Tests will usually ship within 7-12 days of ordering.