A leading health plan that serves mostly seniors is issuing a warning concerning misinformation being disseminated in media and online about how COVID-19 and the delta variant are spread. Brand New Day, a Medicare Advantage prescription health plan available in 23 California counties as of 2022, says some patients are learning the truth too late after they have contracted the potentially deadly virus.
“We all want to get through this pandemic as fast and safe as possible but it’s critically important that we understand the nature of the virus and how it spreads and not fall prey to misinformation that can put us in harm’s way,” says gerontologist Michael Tehrani, M.D. with Brand New Day.
Among the fallacies about how the virus is spread that may give the public a false sense of security are that children who unknowingly have COVID but are asymptomatic can’t spread the disease. False says Tehrani. “They can spread the disease to their more vulnerable, unvaccinated grandparents, who typically don’t have as strong an immune system as their grandkids.”
He also points to those who have already had COVID and think they are safe from reinfection as they have the antibodies to fight it. “While a previous bout with COVID does appear to give you some degree of protection against being reinfected, it is not a sure bet. Getting your vaccines can give you a higher level of immunity.”
Finally, Tehrani says that even if you’re vaccinated, you may be carrying the virus despite not showing any symptoms and unwittingly pass it on to others, particularly the unvaccinated.
“If you feel you may be coming down with COVID, do not wait to seek medical attention. There is no shame in reaching out to your doctor to be extra safe,” warns Tehrani. “Tragically, we are learning that by the time you’re experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath, you are now at greater risk for morbidity and mortality.”
Brand New Day says to regularly monitor yourself for symptoms. With the Delta variant, you might feel as if you’re coming down with a cold and suffering headaches, a runny nose and sore throat while typical COVID-19 symptoms include loss of smell, shortness of breath, fever and persistent cough.
Brand New Day, a Medicare Advantage prescription health plan available in 23 California counties, offers comprehensive benefit programs designed for its members’ unique healthcare needs. In addition to its Medicare only, Medicare and Medi-Cal members, the plan offers specialized programs. They include the Embrace Plan for members with heart disease, hypertension and/or diabetes; Bridges Plan for members with dementia and Alzheimer’s; Harmony Plan for members with mental illness including major depression, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder and paranoid disorder; and SelectCare Plan for members residing in long-term care (nursing homes) facilities
For qualifying members, the plans cover transportation to and from medical appointments; vision, dental and hearing aids; 24-hour/day nurse and physician line; and health nurses and life coaches. In addition, members with chronic illnesses are not only treated medically, but in a variety of other ways including education about the member’s chronic or ongoing medical conditions and avoidable risks, nutrition, exercise, self-testing and monitoring, medication adherence to doctor orders, preventive care planning and linkage to community support programs.
Brand New Day's personalized approach is designed to keep its members healthy and independent and its team of caring healthcare professionals share one common goal -- to improve the overall well-being of each member by offering members "healthcare you can feel good about."
For more information about Brand New Day, visit BNDHMO.com or call (866) 255-4795.