BATON ROUGE, La – COVID-19 cases are increasing around the country, with most Louisiana parishes reporting high community transmission levels. The majority of these cases are caused by the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron variants of the virus. Health officials say these variants are more contagious and spread more easily than the original omicron variant, which caused an earlier surge of COVID-19.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana urges everyone to follow health officials’ recommendations and get the COVID-19 vaccine or booster as soon as you are eligible.
“It’s also important to take other precautions that we know limit the spread of COVID-19 – wash your hands often and wear a mask when you’re in crowded, indoor areas. Most importantly, isolate if you feel sick or know you were exposed, and get tested as soon as you can,”said Dr. Dee Barfield, Blue Cross senior medical director and vice president, Medical Management.
COVID-19 Vaccine and Booster Recommendations
Federal health officials recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for anyone six months and older. Health officials also recommend everyone age 5 and older who has gotten the original COVID-19 vaccine should get a booster when eligible, depending on their health status and risk factors. People age 50 and older and people ages 12-50 who have health conditions that affect their immunity may need a second booster shot.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana covers the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters at $0 out of pocket for eligible members of individual and employer health plans. Eligible members of Medicare and Medicaid plans or uninsured patients also can get a COVID-19 booster vaccine at no cost. This no-cost coverage is required by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. If you have questions about vaccine coverage on your health plan, contact Customer Service at the number on your member ID card.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation is sponsoring free ride programs for COVID-19 vaccine and booster appointments statewide. Many community organizations offer similar programs. If you do not have a vehicle, are unable to drive or have other barriers to getting your COVID-19 vaccine, call 211 to get connected to programs in your area.
The State of Louisiana’s COVID-19 vaccine webpage at LDH.La.Gov/CovidVaccine has information about the vaccine or booster shots and a list of vaccine locations. You can also call the state COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 1-855-453-0774 to speak with a medical professional.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or were exposed to someone who has COVID-19, see your health care provider for testing and treatment recommendations. You can find community testing resources on the State of Louisiana’s COVID-19 vaccine webpage.
Visit the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana YouTube channel to see short videos on the COVID-19 vaccines and other health topics. Subscribe to know when new videos are added. You can connect with Blue Cross on social media @BCBSLA for updates. Blue Cross posts regularly on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. Founded in New Orleans in 1934, we are a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer with offices in every major region to serve our customers. We have been recognized for the past four years as an honoree of The Civic 50, named by Points of Light as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. We invite all Louisianians to visit our website at www.bcbsla.com or talk to us on social media @BCBSLA.