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Questions about COVID-19 vaccines? Call our Hotline: 877-352-5830


Talk with a Florida Blue Center nurse one-on-one for personalized support and answers to your questions. We're here for you Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. even if you're not a Florida Blue member.

Worksite Safety & Guidelines

Businesses just like yours are welcoming employees back into workplaces. We understand the importance of creating a safe and effective return-to-work plan and environment.

Screening & Testing

We’re monitoring the latest COVID-19 updates and best practices, including testing and where to get vaccinated, to ensure you have the information and tools needed.

Health Information & Support

Florida Blue can help you stay prepared and keep your team safe. Our advisors and resources support businesses of all sizes to get back to work safely and keep their employees healthy.

A Minute With Dr. Kelli

 

Stay up to date with these quick videos from Dr. Kelli Tice, Florida Blue's senior medical director of medical affairs. Learn ways to help your business and your employees stay safe during COVID-19.

Caring for our communities

Your health and the health of the communities we serve is our absolute top priority. As we continue to adjust our lives in these rapidly changing times, please know our team is still offering expanded services and support. We’re here for you as we adjust our lives to new routines.

Masked Co-workers greeting each other

Worksite Safety & Guidelines

We know you have a lot to consider as you welcome employees back to work. To help, we’ve put together some information you can use to ensure we’re all working together to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Our Florida Blue locally based nurses are ready to help. Call us at: 1-877-352-5830, TTY 711, or click here to learn more.

Consider these three things to help your employees return to work safely:

  • Communication – As your employees return to the office, make sure they're kept in the loop on the steps and precautions your business is taking to ensure safety. Let them know what you've done ahead of their return to work and what the plan is once they return. You can also consider having an easy way for employees to send in questions, comments and express concerns.
  • Preparation
    • Consider creating a return-to-work team that will collaborate and lead your company’s COVID-19 response, including creating a daily screening protocol for employees. You’ll want to ensure all employee protected health information is kept on a confidential site.
    • Have resources available for employees like signage around work, quick reference guides for employee safety or checklists for managers and employees to keep track of necessary actions. We’ve included a few examples below. To see all of the available signage, visit cdc.gov.
  • Implementation – Require employees to wear face masks or shields when they are at work and follow the health and safety guidelines you’ve put in place. Encourage social distancing and frequent hand washing and disinfection of work areas.

Consider these tips to help keep your business safe for you and your employees during this time.

  • Clean and disinfect the workplace regularly, including common areas, offices, meeting spaces or other shared equipment and high-touch surfaces. Consider installing hand sanitizer stations or other precautions to help keep employees safe.
  • Stock up on personal protective equipment like face masks, face shields and gloves, and supplies like hand sanitizer, soap, wipes and other community cleaning supplies for employees to use at their discretion. It’s a good idea to have enough supplies for each individual to keep at their workstation.
  • Maintain social distancing guidelines. This includes considering new office layouts for employee workstations and staggered or phased approaches to work schedules and employee re-occupancy.
  • Manage employee and visitor or customer movement within your facility to minimize gatherings.
  • Close common areas that are not essential to business. This includes meeting rooms, break rooms and gyms that make it difficult to maintain physical distance and avoid social interaction.
  • Ensure your worksite has proper signage in place that reinforces these guidelines and expectations.
  • Some underlying health concerns can put an employee at high risk for severe complications from COVID-19. Anyone with conditions such as the following should take extra precautions:
    • Asthma
    • COPD or another lung disease
    • Heart disease
    • Uncontrolled diabetes
    • Severe obesity
    • Weakened immune system
  • Consider some of the following steps you could implement if any of your employees state they need extra protection:
    • Allow them to work remotely, if possible.
    • Consider flexible working hours if they do need to be present in the office, and work with them on ideal times that may prevent overcrowding or social interaction.
    • Move their workstation away from others or provide a barrier between work areas.
    • Be sure to be compliant with any applicable employment and workplace regulations.
  • Develop a Human Resources plan that actively encourages sick employees to report symptoms and exposures and to remain out of the workplace when necessary. This is especially true for employees who may be considered high risk.

Screening & Testing

Many businesses like yours are implementing screening and testing measures to help combat COVID-19 and its spread.

Women with masks taking temperature

To help ensure a safe workplace, you should consider developing processes for screening your employees for illness and tracking results. Here are some things to consider:

  • Develop a plan for prescreening your employees before they return to work and then continue daily screenings for known COVID-19 exposure, COVID-19 risk and current symptoms. This can be done via a questionnaire or digital app. Any record or log of symptoms should be considered confidential medical information.
  • Document employees’ temperatures using:
    1. onsite screening or
    2. employee self-measurement and attestation
  • To avoid large groups of employees waiting for temperature tests, stagger shift start times or set up multiple temperature screening locations.
  • Develop guidelines for supporting employees who have a higher health risk.
  • Create a process for responding to ill employees at work (e.g. isolation, referral to testing site). This includes those who may become ill on the job.
  • Track employees’ test results and isolation periods.
  • Make sure you’ve also considered a plan for how employees who have been sent home or test positive for COVID-19 will re-enter the workplace once they’ve recovered.

Employees who test positive should self-isolate at home, continue to monitor symptoms and make their doctor aware. Isolation is an important tool to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Another important aspect to help slow the spread of COVID-19 is contact tracing. This process is used to help rapidly identify close contacts of those who are COVID-19 positive or other employees they may have come in close contact with who could become ill as a result. This can help you and your employees stay safer at work, with their families at home and in our communities.

Here are some resources to help you if you plan to develop a contact tracing plan:

If you plan to manage contact tracing on your own, we recommend you take advantage of training available from Johns Hopkins University at no cost.

Important: After an employee has tested positive and self-isolated, make sure you have a process for an employee to return to the worksite based upon when the employee tested positive of when symptoms began.

Testing is best used to identify infection in those with COVID-19 symptoms or at-risk exposure. If you plan to require testing for employees returning to work, here are some things to consider.

Types of COVID-19 testing include:

  • PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests: Most common form of diagnostic testing that can be used to diagnose COVID-19. PCR tests can determine whether an employee with symptoms has the current infection or whether there is an asymptomatic infection.
  • Antigen testing: A newer type of test used to diagnose COVID-19, results are typically available faster than PCR tests.
  • Antibody (serology) testing: Detect antibodies in the blood when the body is fighting an infection. This test does not detect the actual virus; rather it detects the body’s immune response to the virus.
    Good to know: Data on serology testing is limited and use of these tests to confirm immunity is not supported at this time. The FDA and CDC advise that serology tests not be used as the only means of diagnosing COVID-19.

COVID-19 Testing – PCR:

Florida Blue is waiving all members’ cost share for the COVID-19 testing. We’re also waiving the cost share for all covered services for the treatment of those with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis (see ASO Special Note below).

Employees who are tested because of symptoms or exposure risk must isolate themselves to avoid transmission while waiting for the test results. It can take up to 14 days to receive a result.

Please note: Florida Blue does not cover the cost if you are requesting your employee to be tested as a screening step in your return-to-work plan (i.e. screening asymptomatic employees for infection).

  • You may want to consider paying for the test if you are requiring it for employees. Otherwise, for employer-requested testing, members are responsible for 100% of the COVID-19 test and office visit cost out of their pocket. Their copay or coinsurance will not apply to employer-ordered testing for back-to-work screening. This means it will not apply toward the member’s deductible. And the provider will not bill it through Florida Blue.

Antibody Testing:

  • We will cover an FDA-approved antibody test if your employee has seen their doctor and the doctor believes it’s medically necessary for your employee to be tested. The doctor must include the reason for the test and the results in the member’s medical record. The antibody test will be $0 cost share for your employee.
  • While Florida Blue will cover the cost of antibody testing based on medical necessity, if you’re requesting your employee have an antibody test as part of their return to work, it is not covered under your health plan. You may want to consider paying for the antibody test if you’re requiring it for employees. Otherwise, for employer-requested testing, it will be the member’s responsibility to pay for the test out of their pocket. Their copay or coinsurance will not apply to employer-ordered testing for back-to-work screening. This means it will not apply toward the member’s deductible. And the provider will not bill it through Florida Blue.

For more information on testing site locations click here.

COVID-19 Vaccine: There are currently several vaccines that have been approved for emergency use authorization from the FDA. For more information on these vaccines and what you need to know, click here.

Please note: For self-funded ASO groups, we’re here to support you. Please reach out to your Florida Blue sales representative if you have any questions or need more information.

What is an antibody test?

It checks to see if your immune system has produced antibodies to COVID-19, even if you never showed symptoms of the virus. It does not check for an active COVID-19 infection. If the test is positive, it means you may have been exposed to the virus and developed antibodies. However, having the antibodies doesn’t mean you’re immune to COVID-19 or future coronavirus infections.

Man with mask working on computer

Health Information & Support

We’re committed to finding solutions during this time. And that includes even more support for you and your employees.

New Directions Behavioral Health. Florida Blue partnered with New Directions Behavioral Health to open a free emotional support helpline for all Floridians, including those who do not have insurance or have coverage with another health plan. The toll-free, bilingual helpline is available 24 hours a day at 833-848-1762. It connects individuals with specially trained behavioral health counselors who can assist anyone experiencing feelings of stress, anxiety, trauma and grief due to the health crisis. These counselors cannot answer questions about COVID-19 testing or treatment.

Please note: For ongoing behavioral health counseling, check your benefit plan to see your options.

Florida Blue Centers. While we’ve transitioned our Florida Blue Centers to virtual support and services, our locally based neighborhood nurses and community specialists are just a phone call away and can help:

  • Answer questions about COVID-19 vaccines, testing site locations, and ways to stay healthy and safe.
  • Find a vaccination location and get answers to your vaccine questions.
  • Connect members with health concerns to the care they need.
  • Address financial strain associated with finding food, utility and rent assistance and many other types of relief programs.

You and your employees can call 877-352-5830, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. We’re here to help any way we can.

Virtual care. Our Florida Blue doctors and health care providers have continued to provide care during COVID-19 by adding virtual visits. A lot of people have now tried a virtual visit with their Florida Blue doctor for the first time and liked the experience. Your employees can still take advantage of virtual visits and avoid a crowded office or possible exposure to the virus. A virtual visit or follow-up care is the same cost share as a regular office visit. For a virtual visit with a specialist you’ll pay the same cost share as a regular office visit. Behavioral health virtual visits are $0 cost share.

This is also the time for employees to put the focus back on their health and well-being. We’ve made it easy to take advantage of virtual wellness checkups for kids, school or sports physicals, or annual checkups for the adults, right from home. And wellness visits are at $0 cost share.

You can also visit floridablue.com/virtual-health to learn more about possible virtual care options.

Covering COVID-19 testing and vaccines. Florida Blue is waiving all members’ cost share for COVID-19 testing and for the vaccines that are available.

For additional resources, including educational videos and webinars, click here.

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