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  • Dana DeLapi

Healthcare (Getting medicine, healthcare access, etc.)

Updated: Sep 1, 2021

Where to get tested for COVID-19

COVID-19 testing differs by location. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, call your healthcare provider first. You can also visit your state or local health department’s website to look for the latest local information on testing. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized viral tests that let you collect either a nasal swab or a saliva sample at home. However, you will still need to send your sample to a laboratory for analysis.

Since the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on March 18, most people should not face costs for the COVID-19 test or associated costs. Starting on March 18 and lasting for the duration of the public health emergency, all forms of public and private insurance, including self-funded plans, must now cover FDA-approved COVID-19 tests and costs associated with testing with no cost-sharing.

In addition to covering testing with no cost-sharing for current Medicaid enrollees, FFCRA added a new option for states to cover testing for the uninsured through Medicaid with 100% federal financing. See the Medicaid Emergency Authority Tracker for details on which states have implemented this policy option.

COVID-19 Test Site Finder verified June 29, 2021 Use this map, provided by Castlight, to find a coronavirus testing location near you.

Other health check-ups

Beyond COVID-19, people still have health issues to cope with.

In general, if you need to see a doctor, try to call ahead and join telemedicine meetings (they’ll video chat with you) when possible. Check in with your doctor or insurance provider to see if either are offering this remote option.

If you have routine medical needs (teeth cleanings, optional surgeries, etc.) that you can delay a month or more, we encourage you to do so. Medical operations may not be back to normal in a month, but hopefully we’ll have adjusted many of our systems to handle this better.

Getting medicine

Many people use medicines they need every day to survive. If this applies to you, it is important to plan ahead.

Note: Medicine for mental health is equally important for your survival. Please prioritize access to medicine that will help you cope with additional stress and rapid changes.

If possible, try to get multiple refills at once for any essential medicine. Due to the patchwork of healthcare in America, there is not one simple solution to how to do this. You may need to call your doctor to have them prescribe more medicine, or your insurer to allow you to pick up more than one. You won’t be the first person calling in to do this. It is important to advocate for yourself. Continue to ask to speak to a manager or challenge decisions if providers won’t accommodate you.

If money is a barrier to refilling your medicine, you are in an emergency and should look at the emergency funding section.

In most states, you can send a friend or family member to pick up your medicine for you if you don’t feel comfortable leaving home. Call your pharmacy ahead of time to make sure this will work and if your designated person needs any documents.

CVS Free Prescription Delivery verified April 8th, 2021 Fill your prescription as you would normally online and receive free 1 to 2-day delivery from CVS.

Walgreens Free Shipping & Pharmacy Home Delivery verified April 21st, 2021 Walgreens Express allows you fill your prescription and pick-up via drive-thru or free delivery in 1-2 business days.

What if I lose my healthcare?

Losing healthcare is considered a qualifying life event and you can register for healthcare through You have up to 30 days after losing your health insurance to enroll.

United We Dream “Healthcare access for Undocumented Folks in the Time of COVID-19” verified April 15, 2021 United Dream breaks down how COVID-19 affects the Public Charge Rule and links to access Free/Low-Cost/Community Health Care resources by state.

Additional support

Free Clinic Directory verified April 15th, 2021 For folks looking for free Health Clinics and Community Health Center, especially for those who are uninsured.

If you have a chronic illness, there are national organizations that focus on sharing information about that illness and advocating for the rights of patients with it. They are a great source for you to follow and help you understand how your condition might interact with the current pandemic:

60 Digital Resources for Mental Health

Mental health is an undeniably important matter, yet most people don’t have access to the resources they need when they need help. At Social Work License Map, we have compiled a comprehensive list of resources for anyone seeking information about and/or help for a range of mental health issues.

Our list spans diagnostic tools, research portals, government organizations, nonprofits, blogs, and phone hotlines devoted to addressing issues ranging from general mental illnesses and disorders such as autism, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse, to the specific needs of diverse populations, including LGBTQ youth, minorities, women, and veterans. Take a look at these resources, and we hope you find our list helpful!

If you need immediate help, you can find a list of national hotlines and support groups are available in the Self-Care section.

Please note: Edquity does not endorse nor is Edquity associated with any business, organization, product or service that is mentioned in these Guides. Edquity is not responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the information provided, which may change over time. We encourage you to contact the business or organization listed to receive the most up-to-date information.


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