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Individual & Family
and Employer Group Plans

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

We know these are challenging times, and want you to know that Empire remains deeply committed to supporting you and protecting your overall health and wellbeing.


Update your email address and choose the email option under Helpful Information to stay informed on COVID-19.

How Your Benefits Work

Empire will cover the COVID-19 vaccine. Empire members won’t have out-of-pocket costs for the vaccine during this national public health emergency. This applies to all members, regardless of the type of health plan they have or which doctor or healthcare professional they choose to visit for COVID-19 vaccination. Please visit VaccineFinder to find COVID-19 vaccines by ZIP Code, vaccine brand, and availability status.

COVID-19 testing is available at no cost.

All Empire plans cover medically necessary COVID-19 testing and the care visit where the test takes place with no out-of-pocket costs. Find a COVID-19 testing location near you by using this tool. Please talk to a doctor first to be certain you need a COVID-19 test. A doctor must order a COVID-19 test for you.

Empire will help you coordinate COVID-19 care.

People who are diagnosed with COVID-19 may have long-term symptoms. Empire case management nurses are ready to help coordinate care for long-term symptoms of COVID-19. If you’d like additional support, please call the Member Services number on your member ID and ask for an Empire Case Management Nurse.


Search for a COVID-19 testing site near you.

Castlight Health
If you have visited a health care professional in your health plan's network any time since March 7, 2020, and were charged for the personal protective equipment (PPE) used for safety against COVID-19, you can contact them for a refund. PPE includes items such as masks, gowns, and gloves. Depending on your plan, you only need to pay charges toward your deductible, copay, or percentage of the cost. Health care professionals in your plan's network cannot charge you for the PPE they use.
We will contact the health care professionals in our plans' networks to let them know our members do not need to pay for those costs.
If you want to submit a complaint to us about PPE charges you received from a health care professional in your plan's network, call us at the Member Services number on your member ID card.

Visit a doctor from home.

Telehealth doctor visits give you access to care without leaving your home. Telehealth visits with doctors and health-care professionals in your plan's network are covered at no cost to you during the New York State COVID emergency. This includes telehealth visits that are not related to COVID-19 if they would have been covered in person. Ask your network provider if they offer telehealth visits.

This benefit may not apply to all members. Please call the Member Services number on your ID card to confirm your benefits.

The Virtual Care text feature on the Sydney Care mobile app allows Empire members to chat with a doctor. You can download the app here. It works together with your Sydney Health or Engage Wellbeing app.

This benefit may not apply to all members. Please call the Member Services number on your ID card to confirm your COVID-19 benefits.


Receive personalized guidance about your health and connect with a doctor via text, chat or video with the Sydney Care mobile app. Sydney Care app features, benefits and costs vary from plan to plan.

Sydney Care logo
Learn about your symptoms at no cost.

The Sydney Care mobile app is a quick and easy way to find out what your symptoms may mean without leaving home. The app’s Coronavirus Assessment tool is always free. It uses guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And Sydney Care can connect you to a doctor for a telehealth visit after you use its Coronavirus Assessment feature. Sydney Care is available for iOS and Android devices. It works together with your Sydney Health or Engage Wellbeing app.

Effective March 1, 2020, we extended due dates for enrolling in a COBRA plan, paying past-due COBRA premiums, filing and appealing claims, and signing up for a health plan during a HIPAA Special Enrollment period.
The extension for due dates changed on March 1, 2021. For those individuals who were eligible for a due date suspension, normal due dates will resume one year from the date they first became eligible for relief (had a qualifying event) or 60 days after the government announces the end of the national public health emergency, whichever comes first.
If you need to take any of the actions listed above, please do so as soon as possible.
You can find additional information on the Department of Labor’s website at, including "COVID-19 FAQs for Participants and Beneficiaries."

Empire has relaxed early prescription refill limits, where permitted, for members who have Empire pharmacy benefits and wish to refill a 30-day supply of most maintenance medications early.

Members who have a pharmacy plan that includes a 90-day mail-order benefit should talk to their doctor about whether changing from a 30-day supply to a 90-day supply of their prescriptions is appropriate. They can request new prescriptions by logging in here, or they can call the Pharmacy Member Services number on their member ID card to learn more.

Most 90-day prescriptions are available for home delivery, and standard shipping is free. These are two ways we’re helping our members improve their access to the medicines they count on and control their costs.

It’s important to take care of your emotional and mental health needs, so we’ve added benefits that provide resources for dealing with the challenges you may be facing right now.

COVID-19 Mental Health Resource Hub

Empire’s affiliated health plans and Beacon Health Options have joined with Psych Hub, mental health advocates, and other national health insurers to develop a free web-based resource to support members’ mental health needs. Psych Hub offers a range of resources to help you and your family deal with pandemic-related stress such as social isolation, job loss and other mental health issues.


Navigate COVID-19 challenges like social isolation and job loss with a free mental health resource hub, powered by Psych Hub and supported by Empire.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: About 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) (January 28, 2020):

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary (March 3, 2020):

Stay informed by checking these resources for up-to-date information about COVID-19, especially if you’re thinking about traveling.