your guide to

COVID-19

Meridian is here to help you protect yourself and your family from COVID-19. Here's what you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments.

how to get vaccinated

 

 

COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and free. Get your shot (or booster shot) today!

COVID-19 vaccines can help protect you from the virus. They can keep you from getting sick or ending up in the hospital. Getting vaccinated also helps to keep those around you protected. Learn more about the vaccines in our FAQs.

Most people can get vaccinated against COVID-19. This includes pregnant and breastfeeding women and children who are at least 6 months old.

Everyone 5+ is eligible to get a booster shot. People 50+ and immunocompromised people can get a second booster shot. Learn more about booster shots.

How to make an appointment

You may be able to make an appointment with your primary care provider (PCP). Just call your PCP’s office to find out. Or you can find a vaccination site online.

 

Need help? Call the Illinois Vaccine Appointment Call Center at 833-621-1284. This call center is open seven days a week, from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Agents can help you register for an appointment online. They can also make an appointment for you. Spanish-speaking agents and translation services are available. The call center number can also take TTY calls.

 

how to get tested

Testing for COVID-19 helps protect yourself and others. It's easy—and free.

It is recommended to get tested for COVID-19 if you are experiencing symptoms. This includes fever, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, and more. Get tested after close contact with someone who has COVID-19. If you have plans to travel or gather indoors, take a COVID-19 test before you leave.

Meridian covers at-home COVID-19 tests for members. Ask your PCP for a prescription and fill it at an in-network pharmacy. Or, visit an in-network pharmacy and ask a pharmacist to prescribe the tests. You can receive four test kits per month.

 

You can also get free at-home COVID-19 tests through the federal government. Place an order at covid.gov/tests to receive them by mail.

how to get care

Get free and fast COVID-19 treatment.

If you test positive for COVID-19, talk to your PCP right away. Your PCP can help you get the care you need. Based on your symptoms, you may need medication. Oral antiviral pills can treat mild to moderate cases. Those at high risk for serious illness can get medication via IV or shots.

 

You can also visit a Test to Treat site. These locations are like one-stop shops for COVID-19 care. First, you can get tested for COVID-19. If it’s positive, a provider can write a prescription for oral COVID-19 treatment. Then, you can get the prescription filled right at the testing site.

 

Meridian covers COVID-19 treatment. Members must visit an in-network provider or pharmacy, or a Test to Treat site.

FAQs

Find answers to some commonly asked questions below.

If you don’t see the answer to your question, call us. We’re here to help.
 

 

Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The vaccine helps to protect you from COVID-19. Even if you are exposed to the virus, the vaccine can help keep you from getting sick. Being vaccinated may also reduce your risk of spreading COVID-19 to others.

 

 

Do I need a booster shot or additional dose?

All people 5+ should get a booster shot to keep their vaccine up to date. This provides extra protection against the virus. Learn more about booster shots and additional doses.

All people 50+ should get a second booster. People 12+ who have a health condition that weakens their immune systems can also get a second booster. These are given at least four months after the first booster.

 

Can my kids get vaccinated?

Children 6 months and up can get vaccinated. Call your child’s provider to schedule an appointment. Some pharmacies and local clinics have vaccine doses for kids. Visit vaccine.gov to find a location near you.

 

How much does the vaccine cost?

The vaccines are completely free.

 

 

How do the vaccines work?

The vaccines help you build up immunity to the COVID-19 virus. None of the vaccines contains the COVID-19 virus. Learn more about how the vaccines work.

 

 

 

If I already had COVID-19, do I need the vaccine?

Yes. Even if you already had COVID-19, you could get sick again. It is important to get vaccinated to protect yourself.

 

 

Why do I need two shots of the vaccine?

Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require two shots. The first shot prepares your body’s immune system and helps it recognize the virus. The second shot strengthens your immune response.

 

 

What are the side effects?

You may experience mild side effects after getting one of the vaccines. These could include fatigue, headache, soreness or redness at the injection site, and muscle or joint pain. All these side effects are completely normal. They are signs that your body is building immunity to COVID-19.

 

 

Once I get the vaccine, do I still have to wear a mask?

Follow the current guidance about wearing a mask and social distancing.

 

Contact us

Meridian Member Services:
866-606-3700
Monday–Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (TTY: 711)

    

Meridian complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-606-3700 (TTY: 711).