Coronavirus & Your Health Care

  • LifeWise wants to help you get the care you need during the pandemic and for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

    Vaccines for COVID-19

    LifeWise follows the guidance of the state and federal governments, plus the FDA and CDC, on the COVID-19 vaccines. For up-to-date information, go to:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    Oregon Department of Health COVID Information (ODOH)

    How can I get the vaccine?

    Get Vaccinated Oregon: Everyone 5 and older can get a COVID-19 vaccine. Kids 5 to 17 can only get Pfizer. The Pfizer pediatric vaccine is a smaller dose for children 5-11. People over the age of 12 should receive the full dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Find a location near you. More CDC info about kids COVID-19 vaccines.

    How much will it cost?

    The government has mandated that the cost of the vaccine will be $0 for everyone in the U.S. Cost for administering the vaccine will be covered by insurance (or waived for those without coverage). Providers may bill an insurance company for administrative costs.

    How COVID-19 care is covered

    LifeWise will waive copays, deductibles, and coinsurance for the following COVID-19 related support:

    • COVID-19 testing. If your doctor recommends COVID-19 testing, you can get the FDA-approved test without pre-approval.

    See the section with important dates for when some of these benefits will end.

    Virtual care options

    If you have COVID-19 symptoms or need care for mental health or other non-emergency situations, please use virtual visits or care first to avoid possible exposure. Many doctors and providers offer virtual visits during the pandemic or you can contact the 24-Hour NurseLine. Find care now.

    NOTE: Only in-person clinics or providers can diagnose or test for COVID-19.

    You can also use mail order to get a 90-day supply of many medications.

    Important dates

    We follow state and federal law. As such, our coverage policies will change on these dates.

    Details Dates
    Cost share waivers for FDA-approved COVID-19 diagnostic testing other virus/respiratory testing tied to a COVID-19 diagnosis (Federal Families First Act and CARES mandate) January 16, 2022

    Additional resources

    How to stay safe at the workplace, schools, and home
    How to know if you're high-risk and what to do

    Other health care questions

    How do I show proof of vaccination?

    There are many options for showing proof of your COVID-19 vaccination, including carrying your card (or a photocopy of your vaccination card), taking a picture of your card with your phone, or using your state's record. For Washington state residents: Learn how to access your vaccine records through MyIRMobile. For WA state help getting your records, or if you don't have access to the internet or need language assistance, call 1–800–525–0127, then press #.

    Am I eligible for a booster dose?

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that people 65+ and residents of long-term care facilities receive a booster shot of Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after the 2nd Pfizer or Moderna dose. It also includes recommendations for those 50-64 with underlying medical conditions. Those younger than 50 with underlying medical conditions and those at increased risk because of their occupational or institutional setting may also receive a booster at least 6 months after their Pfizer or Moderna 2nd dose. No out-of-pocket cost for members who meet these criteria.

    Vaccine: Why are boosters needed?

    People who are fully vaccinated are still strongly protected against hospitalization and death from COVID-19. But immunity against infection can wane over time, and the extra-contagious delta variant is spreading widely. U.S. health authorities want to shore up protection in at-risk people who were vaccinated months ago, though the priority remains getting the unvaccinated their first shots.

    Vaccine: Why are there different recommendations for the different vaccines?

    A single shot of the J&J vaccine is less effective than two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer formulas, and health authorities decided it was important for the J&J recipients to achieve a similar level of protection. As for the timing, J&J simply tested more people with a two-month booster than one at six months. For recipients of Moderna or Pfizer vaccinations, there's no clear data that everybody needs another dose, but immunity against infection in at least some people appeared to wane around six months.

    Vaccine: What about the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine? Should I get a second shot?

    The CDC has recommended that people that received the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine receive a booster dose. Anyone who got a J&J shot at least two months ago is eligible, regardless of age or other factors.

    Vaccine: What if I don't want to wait 6 months?

    Experts agree that getting a booster too soon can reduce the benefit. Timing matters because the immune system gradually builds layers of defenses over months, and letting that response mature improves the chances another, later dose will provide even stronger protection.

    Vaccine: What do 'mixing and matching' booster doses mean?

    It means a booster of a different brand from your original vaccination. That gives flexibility in situations such as nursing homes where only one type of booster might be brought in. It also gives people at risk of a rare side effect linked to one kind of vaccine the option of switching to a different shot.

    Vaccine: Can I get a Pfizer or Moderna booster if I received the Johnson & Johnson? Is it okay to get the Pfizer booster if I received the Moderna vaccine first?

    CDC’s recommendations now allow for “mix and match” dosing for booster shots depending on personal preference. Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. For people who originally got a J&J vaccination, the Moderna and Pfizer shots appeared to offer a stronger boost. But researchers cautioned the study was too small to say one combination is better than another.

    Vaccine: Do I need a booster to still be considered fully vaccinated?

    No, the CDC says people still are considered fully vaccinated starting two weeks after the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, or the single-dose J&J shot.

    Vaccine: Will this be my last booster?

    Nobody knows. Some scientists think eventually people may get regular COVID-19 shots like annual flu vaccinations. But researchers will need to study how long protection from the current boosters lasts.

    Should I get a flu shot?

    The CDC, and many medical practitioners, are strongly recommending everyone get a flu shot this year. With the flu almost non-existent last year due to the stay-at-home orders, masking and handwashing, many are expecting this flu season to come back strongly. According to the CDC, it is safe to get both your COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine at the same time.

    What's the difference between the flu and COVID?

    Both are contagious respiratory illnesses, but there are differences. Read CDC details on flu and COVID signs and symptoms differences. An easy-to-read flu vs. COVID graph is also available.

    I wasn't tested for COVID. Is my appointment still covered in full?

    If your doctor doesn't determine that you met the CDC criteria for COVID-19 testing and/or diagnosis, your regular cost shares (copay, coinsurance, and/or deductible) will be applied to your visit.

    Is drive-through testing covered?

    Your test is covered the same whether you're in the car or in a lab.

    Is other help available?

    Oregon Coronavirus Response includes resources for residents, such as financial, food, housing, and wellbeing services, among others.