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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.

Ordering at-home test kits from Empire

COVID-19 testing remains an important part of keeping our families and communities safe. Empire is offering at-home test kits, for eligible members, at no cost for a limited time to make COVID-19 testing more convenient.

At-home test kits from Empire:

  • Are FDA-authorized.
  • Arrive in 1 to 2 business days.
  • Show results in 10 minutes.
  • Are for diagnostic testing.

The type of plan you have determines whether you’re eligible to order an at-home test kit from Empire.

Log in to find out whether you’re eligible to order an at-home test kit from Empire. If you are, you’ll be able to place an order. If you are not, please use our Test Site Finder to learn about options near you.

If you have questions about your COVID-19 benefits, please call the Member Services number on your ID card.


COVID-19 tests at a doctor's office

All Empire plans cover medically necessary COVID-19 testing and the care visit where the test takes place with no out-of-pocket costs. Use this tool to find a COVID-19 testing location near you. 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.


Over-the-counter COVID-19 tests

You can be reimbursed for over-the-counter COVID-19 diagnostic tests starting on January 15, 2022. You do not need a doctor’s order for the over-the-counter diagnostic test. Reimbursement is available only during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

  • Save your receipts when you purchase over-the-counter COVID-19 diagnostic tests. You'll need to submit them when you apply for reimbursement.
  • Follow this link to submit a claim, or log in to the SydneySM Health mobile app, go to Claims, and choose Submit a Claim. If your employer has asked you to submit receipts to your pharmacy benefit plan, please don’t submit them here.

Diagnostic tests are for people who have symptoms of COVID-19. They also are for people who have no symptoms but know or suspect that they have recently been exposed to someone who has COVID-19.


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.

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.

Visit a doctor from home.

Virtual care doctor visits give you access to care without leaving your home. Ask your doctor if they offer telehealth visits.

The Sydney Health mobile app  allows Empire members to see a doctor from home.

Receive personalized guidance about your health and connect with a doctor over text, chat, or video. These features and benefits vary by plan. Try the Sydney Health 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.

Psych-Hub Icon

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

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