COVID-19: Supporting our communities with information you can trust

COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Answers to the Most Commonly Asked Questions Regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine

This is the most up to date version as of 04.07.2021. We will update this as more information becomes available.

Providence is receiving many inquiries from community members interested in the COVID-19 vaccine. We are working closely with public health authorities as well as our provider and community partners to facilitate vaccination as soon as possible.

The COVID-19 vaccine supplies are beginning to increase, everyone will have an opportunity to vaccinate soon. Local resources such as those listed below can help you to find a vaccination location and secure an appointment. If you are eligible to receive the vaccine, we encourage you to get the COVID-19 vaccine wherever there is availability. All COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are highly effective at preventing hospitalizations and death from COVID-19.

 


COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Phase and Eligibility

Overall Oregon is currently in Phase 1B Group 7 of vaccine distribution  

  • All individuals who match the criteria listed in Phase 1A and 1B groups 1-6.
  • 65 years or older, childcare providers, early learning and K–12 educators and staff
  • Adults 45-64 with one or more underlying health condition with increased risk*, migrant and seasonal farm workers, seafood and agricultural workers, food processing workers, people living in low-income senior housing, senior congregate and independent living, individuals experiencing houselessness (sheltered and unsheltered), People currently displaced by wildfires, wildland firefighters, pregnant people 16 and older.
  • Frontline workers as defined by CDC*, Multigenerational household members, Adults 16–44 with one or more underlying health conditions with increased risk*
  • April 19: All Oregonians 16 and older

* Center for Disease Control and Prevention category list

 

Washington is currently in Phase 1B tier 2 of vaccine distribution

  • All individuals who match the criteria listed in Phase 1A and 1B Tier 1
  • High-risk critical workers* in the following industries: agriculture, fishing vessel crews, food processing, grocery store/food bank, corrections (prisons, jails, detention centers), court of law, public transit, and remaining first responders
  • People 16 years or older who are pregnant or have a disability that puts them at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness
  • Anyone 65 and older
  • All people 50 and older who also live in a multigenerational household
  • All workers at risk in health care settings
  • Educators and school staff for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, and child care workers
  • People who live or work in long-term care facilities
  • April 15: All Washingtonians 16 and older

*Work in an enclosed space around other people and cannot maintain physical distance.

We know how important it is to know when you will be able to receive the vaccine and will provide regular updates as supply increases and eligibility expands.



Am eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, when can I receive it?



I am currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Where can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

  • At this time, vaccinations are by appointment only. The links below will help you locate COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Appointment time slots have been filling up quickly, so please check scheduling portals often to secure a spot. Availability for vaccine appointments may change daily and will open as additional vaccines become available. Therefore, we encourage patience as the process to make an appointment may take some time.  
  • All Oregonians are encouraged to sign up to receive vaccine alerts at Get Vaccinated Oregon. Once you create an account for yourself, you can add others to your account and monitor their eligibility as well. You will receive notification when you are eligible and help finding a vaccine provider. 
  • Not everyone is able to use the internet for vaccine scheduling. If you need to schedule your vaccination and you do not have access to the internet, you can call 211 or 1-866-698-6155 (toll free). They can help you schedule.
  • Additional COVID-19 vaccination clinics may also be found on COVID-19 Vaccine Information by County located on the Oregon Health Authority.
  • For eligible residents of Washington, you can find a vaccinating provider by county on the Vaccine Locations website provided by the Washington State Department of Health.
  • Eligible resident in all other states should check their state or local public health department websites.
  • Furthermore, COVID-19 vaccine locations for all states can be searched for on the Vaccine Finder website.
  • Additionally for all states, eligible individuals can schedule vaccine appointments through select local pharmacies. Members who are interested in getting vaccinated at their local pharmacy should check the pharmacy’s website to find out if the COVID-19 vaccine is available and to schedule a vaccine appointment:


How can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I receive at-home services for a medical condition or disability?
  • In Oregon, a drive-thru mass COVID-19 vaccination site is open at the Portland International Airport. This site is available by appointment only and administers vaccines. You can use the Vaccine Information by County for your county or go to your county’s public health website and follow the instructions to register for vaccination.
  • Additionally in Oregon, the COVID-19 mass vaccination site at the Oregon Convention Center has wheelchairs available at all entrances and patient transportation staff to assist during the entire vaccination process
  • For all other members who need at-home services, call Customer Service at 1-800-878-4445 for more information.  

Transportation assistance is available for COVID-19 vaccine appointments:

Medicaid Members

  • Ride to Care – 503-416-3955 or 1-855-321-4899, TTY/TDD 711, interpreter services are available.
    • Ride to Care is a Health Share program that provides free trips to health care appointments. Plan a trip to your next health care appointment-it is free and easy.
    • Ride to Care can be used for transportation to/from Oregon Convention Center and other vaccination sites. For more information, visit www.ridetocare.com

Medicare Members

  • Providence Medicare Advantage Plans is pleased to provide assistance to members requiring transportation to a COVID-19 vaccination site. Please call OneCall at 1-866-733-8994 for questions or to schedule transportation service.

You can expect to pay nothing for the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Members are to have no cost for vaccine or vaccine administration cost.
  • Vaccines purchased with taxpayer dollars will be available at no cost for all members. In addition, vaccine administration cost is covered in full by any in-network or out-of-network provider.
  • For Medicare Advantage plan members, providers/pharmacies must bill the administrative cost of the vaccine to Original Medicare via the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC). There is no cost to Medicare beneficiaries.
  • For all other members, providers should bill Providence directly per their standard process for the administrative cost of the COVID-19 vaccine. If the provider is out-of-network, they should still bill us directly.
  • Please contact us by calling our toll free number on the back of your Member ID Card if you have questions about billing or vaccine costs.


Is the COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)?

Yes, COVID-19 vaccine under the FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Approved vaccines:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID Vaccine
  • Moderna COVID Vaccine
  • Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID Vaccine

The FDA uses the EUA process to allow use of vaccines during a public health emergency such as this pandemic. To learn more about the COVID-19 Vaccine visit this CDC COVID-19 vaccine information center.

All COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are highly effective at preventing hospitalizations and death from COVID-19.



How is the COVID-19 vaccine being distributed?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) manages vaccine distribution in the United States and advises priority phases for vaccination to each state. Each state then decides who can receive the vaccine in each phase. In Oregon and Washington, the Oregon Health Authority and Washington State Department of Health respectively, allocate COVID-19 vaccine supply weekly. 



What else can members do to protect themselves?

Members should continue to follow the latest CDC guidelines. Washing your hands often, avoiding close contact (social distance), covering your nose and mouth with a protective cloth or masking when around others, staying home, and limiting your exposure to non-household individuals continue to be our best front line safety practices. Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use your elbow if one is not available, clean and disinfect surfaces frequently, and monitor your health daily.



If after reading the commonly asked questions and you still have questions:

  • In Oregon, you can call 211 or 1-866-698-6155 from 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily, including holidays. There is an option to get a call back rather than wait on hold. You can text ORCOVID to 898211 or email ORCOVID@211info.org for more information on where to get the vaccine.
  • In Washington, you can call 1-800-525-0127, and then press # from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, and observed state holidays. You can also text “Coronavirus” to 211211 to receive information and updates on your phone.
  • If you need help using the online tools, consider working with a family member or trusted friend.
  • You can call us at 1-877-216-3644 for assistance.


Where can I find educational resources to learn more?

Below you will find some educational resources to help you learn up-to-date and reliable information regarding COVID-19 vaccination and other information about this pandemic causing virus.



Language access:

If you speak a language other than English, we can help you get access to an interpreter. For phone interpretation, call Customer Service at 1-800-878-4445 and we can help connect you to an interpreter.

For helpful coronavirus facts from the Oregon Health Authority, click on your choice of language:






Covering costs for COVID-19 treatment

Updated March 26, 2021 to extend the service date to December 31, 2021

March 26, 2021

For service dates beginning April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2021, all member cost sharing for treatment of COVID-19 will be waived. This applies to in-network inpatient, outpatient, facility and professional visits. This change is applicable for all members on an individual and family plan, small group fully insured plan and large group fully insured plan. We are working directly with our self-funded employers to determine the best approach for each of their specific needs.






Health Plan Premium Grace Period

May 8, 2020

Many individuals and businesses are already struggling to pay their health insurance premiums as a result of the impact of the coronavirus on the economy.  Providence Health Plan is proactively taking action to ensure continuity of coverage – so members can continue to receive care and medications during this time of uncertainty.

  • If an employer group has furloughed or laid off employees, we will continue to cover those employees contingent on payment of premium by the employer. This means that normal minimum hour requirements will be waived. COBRA may be an option for some of those employees, but this “premium continuation” approach may provide additional stability in the event employers are willing to participate in hopes that they may be able to resume business in the near term.
  • People who purchase individual plans through the federal marketplace and who receive an advance premium tax credit will continue to receive a 3-month grace period, established by federal law that we will continue to follow without adjustment.
  • We will grant a two month extension for the following people that are unable to pay some or all of their premium:
    • People who purchase individual plans through the federal marketplace and who do not receive an advance premium tax credit
    • People who purchase individual plans direct (not through the federal marketplace)
    • Fully-insured employer group plans (small and large)

Failure by employers or individuals to pay all premium obligations before the end of the grace period may result in direct member liability for medical services and supplies received after the first month of the grace period. These grace period and premium continuation allowances will be available for premium attributable to March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December coverage. This message will be updated if the allowances are continued beyond that period.






Support for health plan members and Medicare beneficiaries impacted by COVID-19

March 11, 2020

Your health and the health of our communities is our priority. Effective immediately, we’ve taken the following steps:

  • We are waiving all cost sharing out-of-pocket costs for testing services related to COVID-19 when ordered by a provider. Cost-sharing means things like copays, coinsurance and deductibles.
  • Members are encouraged to obtain 90-day supplies of medication through their mail order pharmacy or via home delivery, and we will allow early refills for most medications

This applies to our commercial insured, large group, small group, individual and family, and Medicare members.

Providence Health Plan members who have questions about their cost share or any other issues related to COVID-19 are encouraged to contact our customer service center for additional information at 503-574-7500 or 1-800-878-4445, TTY: 711, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Pacific Time).

Providence Medicare Advantage Plans members should call our Medicare customer service center at 503-574-8000 or 1-800-603-2340, TTY: 711, Monday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Pacific Time).

To limit the possibility of person-to-person exposure of COVID-19, Providence is suspending in-person services at our Murray Business Center in Beaverton. We look forward to returning to normal services in the future.

Please note:  Cost-sharing and benefits may vary depending on your plan, eligibility, changes in coverage for members or their dependents, current status of the “State of Emergency,” and status of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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