Free telehealth service increases access to COVID-19 treatments

If you test positive for COVID-19 and have difficulty getting a prescription for the antivirals Paxlovid or Lagevrio (molnupiravir), a new free telehealth (remote) service may help. Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has partnered with Color Health, Inc. to offer online or telephone support to get COVID-19 antivirals to eligible people within 24-48 hours, regardless of health insurance status, at no cost.

“These medicines can help prevent severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization and even death,” said Andrea Lara, M.D., M.P.H., at OHA. “They should be available for free for anyone who needs them, whether or not the person has health insurance.”

The service will especially benefit communities hit hardest by COVID-19, including Tribal nations and communities of color.

Not everyone is eligible for COVID-19 antivirals, but those who are must start taking the medication within five days of symptom onset. There are several options for people seeking COVID-19 antivirals, and OHA encourages people with insurance to first consult their health care provider, if they have one. If you don’t have a health care provider, you can look for a nearby Test-to-Treat location. Test-to-Treat (T2T) connects you (in person) with a health care provider who can determine eligibility  and prescribe COVID-19 antivirals. T2T may include a fee for those without health insurance.

If you don’t have health insurance or a health care provider, or if you live far from any Test-to-Treat locations or can’t get an appointment within five days of symptom onset, use the Color Health telehealth service. You must provide an Oregon address to use the service.

The service is available every day, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., in multiple languages.

There are two ways to use Color Health’s telehealth service:

1. Visit Color.com/COVID-19-treatment-OR

  • Before you start the survey, you must make an account using an email address. You’ll be asked for your contact information including phone number, email address and home address.
Sample question from the Color Health survey
  • You will be asked for demographic information such as gender orientation and race, as well as what language you’d like to use for the questionnaire and consultation.
  • Complete the online questionnaire. You will be asked questions such as whether you’re pregnant, taking any medications or have any ongoing medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, hepatitis, heart disease, high blood pressure and more.
  • You may then speak to a health care provider who will ask you a few more questions to determine your eligibility for an oral antiviral. You can choose to have this conversation over the phone or on a video call. Wait time for either should be a half hour or less.

OR

2. Call 833-273-6330 (toll-free) – If you are unable to access the internet, a phone operator will start the process and can connect you with a health care provider. For people who don’t speak English, the operator can bring an interpreter on the line.

If the health care provider determines you are eligible to receive COVID-19 antiviral medication, they will prescribe it immediately, either to your preferred pharmacy for pick up or delivered to your home within 24-48 hours.

For general questions about Color Health’s telehealth services, call the customer service line at (844) 352-6567, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also email treatments@color.com for general questions.

For more information on COVID-19 treatments, visit OHA’s webpage.