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COVID-19 Vaccine Information

We know you and your employees may have questions about the new vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. As your trusted partner in the administration of your health plan, we’re always here to help.

We remain focused on reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and believe the vaccine is an important step toward getting back to normal. As a physician-led organization, we hope everyone will commit to slowing the spread of COVID-19 by getting vaccinated when you’re notified of the vaccine’s availability.

The vaccine reports 94-95% effectiveness and our healthcare experts are all encouraged by both its success rate and its safety. Of course, like with any vaccine, some people may experience side effects like tenderness, achiness or mild fever. The vaccine is given in two shots (i.e. two doses), a few weeks apart. To ensure the vaccine’s effectiveness, you need to get both shots.

The vaccine isn’t yet available to everybody. Hospitals in our communities are currently working with local government officials on a phased distribution schedule, and frontline healthcare workers and those working in nursing homes are getting the first doses in most places. As the vaccine becomes available to more people, we and your providers will keep you informed. At this early time, it appears it’ll be spring or summer before the vaccine is available for the general public. A more specific timeframe will be communicated in the next few months as the situation becomes clearer.

As of this time, the federal government is covering the cost of the vaccine. It’s a $0* cost to those who receive it. This may change over time, but we’ll keep you informed.

While the vaccine brings us hope that an end to the pandemic is in sight, it’s as important as ever for you and your employees to continue the proven ways to reduce the spread of the virus. Keep wearing a mask, social distancing, washing your hands often and avoiding others who are sick. We know cases are on the rise everywhere, so please consider the safety of getting together over the holidays, especially with elderly friends and relatives. The majority of new COVID-19 infections are spread through close contacts. As you consider getting together over the holidays, gatherings with family and friends who don’t already live in your home can lead to infection spread.

We encourage you to share this information, and future emails, with your employees and their families. If they have any questions, they can call the number on the back of their Member ID card.

If you yourself have any questions, you can contact us directly at or by calling (217) 902-8151. You can also visit our webpage for more information about COVID-19. We’re committed to keeping you and your employees healthy and informed.

*Providers may charge a fee for the administration of the vaccine, and your plan will cover the cost of this administration fee without applying copays, coinsurance, or deductibles for most administered plans. Cost sharing may apply for members covered under short-term, limited-duration plans or certain grandfathered group health plans. If you have questions about your specific coverage, please call the number on the back of your Member ID card.