Health system tips and COVID-19

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Image Caption: Red Desert, inspired by Georgia O’Keefe

COVID-19 treatments: antivirals or antibodies?

As COVID-19 cases become more prevalent in the general population, you may need to understand the available treatments. From a public health perspective, prevention is preferred over treatment so it is still important to continue masking, maintaining distance from others, and staying up to date with vaccinations. Around 80% of the population have mild symptoms … Continue reading COVID-19 treatments: antivirals or antibodies?

COVID-19 testing: PCR or rapid?

As you may have heard, Biden recently approved at-home tests for households delivered by USPS. As we increasingly face COVID-19 testing situations, we will talk about which test is appropriate for when and what it tells you.  The PCR test is more accurate than the rapid antigen test. PCR tests are also known as nucleic … Continue reading COVID-19 testing: PCR or rapid?

Visualizing new life choices within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

The impacts on health in early life cumulatively influences the next stages all the way through old age. The life course model allows us to visualize new life choices within the context of COVID-19 (summary table at the bottom). Fetal/Infant Everyone is affected including persons not yet born and those in early life. The stress … Continue reading Visualizing new life choices within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

Under-represented groups are rightfully nervous about getting the COVID-19 vaccine

Updated on April 27th, 2021 with summary table on how common COVID-19 vaccine concerns are addressed and their sources at the bottom. By Michelle Rufrano & Jean-Ezra Yeung Executive Summary Multiple COVID-19 vaccine surveys show that the plan to get the vaccine is about half of the U.S. population, and Blacks showed the highest level … Continue reading Under-represented groups are rightfully nervous about getting the COVID-19 vaccine

When does a COVID-19 variant become a concern (for you)?

Executive Summary The UK, South African and Brazilian variants are of concern because of increased prevalence and they carry mutation(s) such that vaccine and antibody therapies have shown less neutralizing activity in the lab Early Novavax clinical trial findings showed lower vaccine efficacy against the South African variant compared to the UK variant The New … Continue reading When does a COVID-19 variant become a concern (for you)?

Does it matter which COVID-19 vaccine you take (in the US)?

Executive Summary All three vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen) were developed based on the Wuhan variant. Although the efficacy rates appeared lower in Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine, it was tested on a more diverse demographic population (race, more participants with co-existing conditions) and geography (including South America, South Africa), and also at … Continue reading Does it matter which COVID-19 vaccine you take (in the US)?

What are the out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 treatment, if any?

Executive Summary If you have Commercial (non-grandfathered, non-self-funded), Medicare Advantage or Medicaid, insurers have been waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment (the largest insurers so far have set time frames and extensions until at least end of 2020) If you are on traditional Medicare or in a Commercial Obamacare-compliant health plan and do not have cost-sharing … Continue reading What are the out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 treatment, if any?

What you should expect to pay for a COVID-19 diagnostic test, if anything

Executive Summary Your health insurance should cover the cost of COVID-19 testing and any related services, but an out-of-network provider or lab could be charging your insurer higher than usual fees If you’re uninsured, there may be state (Medicaid) or commercial (brand awareness) entities that are offering free tests, otherwise you have to pay the … Continue reading What you should expect to pay for a COVID-19 diagnostic test, if anything


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