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Health care coverage — including coronavirus testing for people who need it — should be affordable for all Californians.

All patients with full-service Medi-Cal or commercial insurance in California will have copays, coinsurance and deductibles waived for COVID-19 testing and screening.

If you don’t have health care coverage or recently lost employer-sponsored health care coverage, see the Health Care Coverage Options Factsheet (pdf) to get covered.

Questions and answers

Should I use cloth face coverings to protect against COVID-19?

Yes,  when you must leave home to conduct essential activities you should use cloth face covering.  California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Released a Guidance on Use of Cloth Face Coverings.

The guidance reminds Californians that the best defense against COVID-19 continues to be: 

  • Staying at home and physical distancing 
  • Washing hands frequently
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoiding being around people with COVID-19 symptoms

The use of cloth face coverings could reduce the transmission of COVID-19 by individuals who do not have symptoms and may reinforce physical distancing.

What is a cloth face covering?

A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.

How should I care for a cloth face covering?

It’s a good idea to wash your cloth face covering frequently, ideally after each use, or at least daily. Have a bag or bin to keep cloth face coverings in until they can be laundered with detergent and hot water and dried on a hot cycle. If you must re-wear your cloth face covering before washing, wash your hands immediately after putting it back on and avoid touching your face. Discard cloth face coverings that:

  • No longer cover the nose and mouth
  • Have stretched out or damaged ties or straps
  • Cannot stay on the face
  • Have holes or tears in the fabric

What if I don’t have health insurance and I need screening or treatment for COVID-19?

I want to get screened or tested for COVID-19. I have insurance, but what will this cost me out-of-pocket?

It should be free. The state agencies that regulate health care in California have mandated that all full-service insurance plans (including Medi-Cal) waive copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles for medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19. This includes emergency room, urgent care, or provider office visits when the purpose of the visit is to be screened and tested for COVID-19.

I have mild COVID-19 symptoms. How long do I have to isolate at home?

Follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on ending self-isolation.

I am nervous or scared. What can I do?

You’re not alone. Strategies for managing stress include:

  • Limit your intake of information from news sources about the virus
  • Maintain social contact with friends and family by phone, text, or internet.
  • Treat your body kindly: eat healthy foods and move your body.
  • Call your health care provider if your anxiety prevents you from being able to continue with your daily activities.

Here are some articles with helpful advice about managing stress and anxiety about coronavirus:

If you have Medi-Cal and are in need of non-crisis mental health services, contact your County Mental Health Plan.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others, call 911 or the Disaster Distress Helpline (1-800-985-5990) or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)

My safety net eligibility (like CalFresh, Medi-Cal) is expiring and I am under the statewide shelter in place order for COVID-19. Do I need to renew my eligibility now?

No, you will not need to renew for 90 days. Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order to ensure that health care, food assistance, and in-home supportive services continue during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The order waives eligibility re-determinations for 90 days for participants in:

  • Medi-Cal health coverage
  • CalFresh food assistance
  • CalWORKS
  • Cash Assistance for Immigrants
  • In-Home Supportive Services

I have a concern or complaint about getting care for COVID-19 under my health insurance. What can I do?

If you are having trouble accessing care, or were inappropriately charged cost-sharing for medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19, follow up directly with your health plan by calling the member phone number listed on your health plan card. If your health plan doesn’t resolve the issue, contact the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMCH) Help Center for assistance at 1-888-466-2219.

How can I keep up to date on the latest scientific research on COVID-19?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has compiled the latest global research on COVID-19.

How are doctors and health care providers keeping patients safe?

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has released guidance for health care providers. See CDPH Guidance Documents for details.

Stay informed

California Department of Insurance COVID-19 Information

California Health and Human Services on Twitter

California Governor’s Office on Facebook

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