Information for Patients
The Central Health Enterprise (Central Health, CommUnityCare Health Centers, Sendero Health Plans) is closely following the developing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in our region and will post information about symptoms, diagnosis, testing, and applicable resources on this page. Austin Public Health is our local public health authority and is leading efforts to research, gather, and disseminate information to the community. For the latest news and information, please visit the APH website at austintexas.gov/COVID19.
NEW UNINSURED HOTLINE NUMBER - 512-978-8775
People experiencing coronavirus-like symptoms (COVID-19) who are uninsured and do not have an established doctor should call the COVID-19 Hotline for guidance.
This number is for uninsured Travis County residents – and established CommUnityCare patients – with COVID-19 symptoms.
Patients with confirmed infection have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
- shortness of breath
- repeated shaking with chills
- muscle pain
- sore throat
- new loss of taste or smell
If you are experiencing these symptoms contact your health care provider.
Be sure to call ahead before going to your doctor’s office or emergency department to prevent any potential spread.
How to avoid infection
The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu:
- Wear a face mask.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and war, water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Testing and Appointments
Effective April 12, CommUnityCare is no longer offering testing at community sites. However CommUnityCare Health Centers patients can still get tested at most clinics by appointment. For non-CommUnityCare patients, there are many free testing resources throughout Central Texas that can be easily accessed including local pharmacies.
For more information about local testing options visit Austin Public Health.
If you do not have insurance or a doctor, but you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), call the COVID-19 Hotline at 512-978-8775 for guidance. This number is for all Travis County residents with COVID-19 symptoms who don’t have insurance or an established provider.
To minimize spread of the virus, please call 512-978-8775 rather than going directly to a clinic, urgent care or emergency department.
Stay home and call 512-978-8775 for guidance if you have symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have any of the symptoms above or has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
The COVID-19 is based on risk criteria that will be assessed at time of phone call or visit. There are many instances where a test is not recommended. To find out if a test is recommended for you, call 512-978-8775.
MAP (Medical Access Program)
As a result of containment measures being taken to minimize spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), many Travis County residents are losing their jobs, their income, and their health insurance. If you are uninsured and have lost your job, you may be eligible for one of Central Health’s coverage programs – MAP or MAP BASIC.
Currently all MAP Eligibility Offices are closed. Individuals can apply for MAP one of 3 ways.
- Online: apply4map.net
- Over the phone by calling 512-978-8130
- Download a paper application here
Here is a list of documents you may need to include with your application.
- Applicant Responsibilities
- Self Employment Form
- Residence and Financial Support Form
- Employment Verification Form
If you apply online you will be able to upload your documents in your application.
If you have already applied and received a letter from us requesting you provide us with additional information or documents, you can submit those documents:
- Through our online site documents.apply4map.com or
- By mail: Medical Access Program PO BOX 300489 Austin, TX 78703 or
- By Fax 512-776-0457 or
- By email firstname.lastname@example.org (Note: applications and documents sent through a client’s email may not be secure)
Non-Citizens/Non-Legal Permanent Residents
Even if you are not a U.S. citizen or legal U.S. permanent resident, you should get tested and treated if needed. COVID-19-related care will not hurt your immigration application, and it is okay if a government program pays for your care.
Getting Health Insurance through the ACA Marketplace
As a result of containment measures being taken to minimize spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), many Travis County residents are losing their jobs, their income, and their health insurance. If these life changes happen to you or someone in your household, you could get health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplace.
- The Health Insurance Marketplace offers special enrollment periods for:
- Loss of qualifying health coverage
- Changes in household income – meaning loss of a job
- Changes in your household size
- Change in residence
- Change in status
If you are currently enrolled in a Health Insurance Marketplace plan, and your income changes, contact the Marketplace to report the change. You could be eligible for a tax credit.
Call 1-800-318-2596 or visit healthcare.gov.
Foundation Communities also provides assistance with Health Insurance Marketplace applications (by appointment over the phone). Below are various ways you can schedule appointments for assistance to determine if you have qualifying events and are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period:
- Via the following link: https://booknow.appointment-plus.com/yr4hl26q/
- Leave a voicemail message at 512.381.4520
- Email: email@example.com
- Call 2-1-1
As of today, Foundation Communities is not providing tax services. Due to the current situation, all in person services have been temporarily suspended. Foundation Communities is working on implementing a virtual process for tax assistance. I will keep everyone posted as things progress.
If you or someone in your household is being affected by income or health insurance loss, you may also be eligible for local health coverage programs such as the Medical Access Program (MAP), Medicaid, or Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). In Travis County, call Central Health at 512-978-8130 to see what program may work for you. If you would like to apply for MAP click on the link apply4map.net to complete an online application.