COVID-19 employer hub


Antibody tests for COVID-19 check the blood by looking for antibodies, which are typically present following a previous infection.

Depending on when someone was infected and the timing of the test, the test may not find antibodies in someone with a current COVID-19 infection. At this time, it’s unclear if those antibodies can provide protection (immunity) against getting infected again. This means that it is not yet known if having antibodies makes you immune to the virus.

At the present time there is no CDC guidance for the use of COVID-19 antibody testing in particular individuals. Due to this uncertainty, high level consensus about the role of antibody testing in back to work policy has not yet been reached. 
CDC guidance on who to test for COVID-19, is adapted by state and local health departments in response to rapidly changing local circumstances. SSM Health and our other contracted provider groups are following CDC and Wisconsin Department of Health guidelines on who should be prioritized for testing. 

Consider flexible worksites and hours with telecommuting and staggered shifts, among other arrangements.  Rearrange seating and/or provide other changes to increase the physical distance among employees and between employees and others (at least 6 feet).

Encourage employees to wear cloth face coverings in the workplace, if appropriate. Face coverings are most essential at times when social distances is not possible.

Maintain regular housekeeping practices, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment and other elements of the work environment.

When choosing cleaning chemicals, employers should consult information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectant labels with claims against emerging viral pathogens. Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use of all cleaning and disinfection products. 

Evaluation for possible COVID-19 illness is available virtually and via dedicated clinic sites and urgent care locations.

For Wisconsin residents, calling our 24-hour Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-57-NURSE  (1-800-576-8773), can help you find the most appropriate and convenient site of care. If testing for COVID-19 is recommended via an e-visit, instructions for accessing testing at the nearest testing location will be provided. 


Five More SSM Dean Medical Group Clinics Reopen

SSM Health resumed operations at the remaining five clinics that where temporarily relocated or suspended services as part of their COVID-19 pandemic response. Now, all SSM Health Dean Medical Group clinics are open and operational.
Services resumed Monday, July 13, at:

  • SSM Health Dean Medical Group – Deerfield.
  • SSM Health Dean Medical Group – Delavan.
  • SSM Health Dean Medical Group – Evansville.
  • SSM Health Dean Medical Group – Mineral Point.
  • SSM Health Dean Medical Group – Waterloo.

The health and safety of staff, providers, patients and community remains the number one priority. As services resume – and as the move to full operations across the Wisconsin region gets closer – all clinics will continue to follow the established safety precautions including:

  • Visitor restrictions to limit non-essential traffic in our facilities.
  • Entrance screening for all patients, visitors and staff at our facilities.
  • Adherence to all CDC guidelines and protocols regarding appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for providers and staff.
  • Requiring all patients, visitors and staff to wear masks or other face coverings when they enter our facilities.
  • Enhanced cleaning/disinfection processes.
  • Plexiglass barriers at check-in and registration to ensure appropriate distancing.
  • Realigned waiting room seating to ensure appropriate physical distancing.

This is among the first steps in our phase one of recovery.


Four SSM Dean Medical Group Clinics to Reopen
As businesses are planning to reopen, so are SSM clinics that were temporarily closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is among the first steps in our phase one of recovery.


Employee eligibility

As businesses experience financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic there may be resulting workforce reductions and temporary layoffs. We have received several questions regarding how this will affect an impacted employee’s eligibility for health insurance.
For the duration of the Public Health Emergency, regardless of how many hours an employee works, if the employer continues to classify the employee as an active employee who is eligible for health insurance coverage and pays the premium, the employee’s coverage will continue. 

Premium payments
We have also received several questions regarding potential flexibility around premium payment grace periods and open enrollment period extensions during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

Our aim is to do everything we can to work with you to help with payment so that people have coverage during this crisis. We are advocating at all levels of government, we are partnering with the business community and we will work with you as issues arise.

As soon as we have firm guidelines on available flexibility, we will reach out to you again. Flexibility around open enrollment periods may be available immediately. Contact your agent if you have questions regarding open enrollment period extensions.

Prescription drug refills
To provide members earlier access to prescription medications, we have relaxed our refill policy. Members can get early refills of maintenance and non-maintenance medications, both at a retail pharmacy and through mail order.

Formulary quantity limits have not changed and still apply to 30-day and 90-day fills. Specialty drugs are limited to a 30-day supply.

Diagnostic testing for COVID-19 is available. It's currently being offered by clinicians and at community testing sites to those with potential COVID-19 symptoms and those without symptoms who are otherwise prioritized by health departments or clinicians for public health monitoring.   

Discourage workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices or other work tools and equipment when possible. Close down or mark off water fountains.

Remove items that are typically shared in the workplace like magazines, snacks etc.


  • Testing for current infection: When a provider orders COVID-19 diagnostic testing, member cost-sharing is waived, meaning no copayment, coinsurance, or deductible.
  • Testing for past infection: When a provider orders COVID-19 antibody testing, member cost-sharing is waived, meaning no copayment, coinsurance, or deductible.
  • In-network inpatient hospitalization: During the Public Health Emergency, Dean Health Plan will cover in-network inpatient hospitalizations for COVID-19 treatment with no copayment, coinsurance or deductible.


The health plan will continue to waive member cost share through the end of 2020 for in-network hospitalization related to COVID-19. Such care will not be subject to cost share payments until at least next year. We hope this decision will help offer peace of mind during these unsettling times.


We understand that positive cases continue to rise in Wisconsin. Some areas are seeing a much higher rate than earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic, and many patients and community members are seeking testing.

It is important to continue sharing the appropriate methods of testing with your employees and their families.

Individuals who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 are asked to take a free virtual evaluation at Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • fever (100F or higher),
  • chills
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • shortness of breath/chest tightness
  • loss of taste or smell
  • runny nose
  • nasal congestion
  • headache
  • severe fatigue/exhaustion
  • muscle pain.

If the evaluation determines they are at risk for having COVID-19, they will be connected with an SSM Health provider for details on testing and any appropriate treatments.

Those who are age 5 and over and are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, but would like to get tested for COVID-19 should go to a public testing facility. A list of public testing facilities is available from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Reasons for wanting to get tested when not experiencing symptoms include:

  • You’ve been exposed to individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • You’ve been at an event where individuals have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • You have friends or relatives who have tested positive for COVID-19 or may have been exposed.
  • You have friends or relatives who are at higher risk of complications from COVID-19 and want to make sure you don’t expose them.
  • You have upcoming travel, work or other life events that may require you getting tested.

Regardless of where individuals are tested, they should limit contact with others while test results are pending.

It’s also important to recognize that testing alone will not get us through this outbreak. Practicing smart preventive behavior remains the most important step we can take to reduce risk and slow spread in our community, including: 

  • Practicing physical distancing. Stay six feet away from people who do not live in your household
  • Wear face coverings, especially if you will be indoors with others (e.g., grocery store).
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home if possible, especially if you have any symptoms (e.g. fever, cough).
  • Follow isolation guidelines if you test positive. Follow quarantine guidelines if exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Learn more at and


In-network cost-sharing waived
Dean Health Plan is waiving in-network cost-sharing, including copayments, coinsurance and  deductibles, for COVID-19 diagnostic testing during this public health emergency. We will cover the test and doctor visit at no cost to members when the basis for the visit is related to testing for COVID-19.

This policy applies to our members in all lines of business, including commercial, Medicare, Medicaid and ASO products.

Members are also encouraged to use telehealth services and/or Dean on Call when possible for COVID-19 screening.

See our latest member updates

We do not expect the COVID-19 vaccine will be widely available to members or the general public until spring of 2021 or later. Front-line health care workers are the first priority for the vaccine. As we learn more about the availability schedule, we will provide updates.

Dean Health Plan will cover FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine(s) (SARS CoV-2) with no member cost-sharing, consistent with the requirements set forth by the CARES Act.

Where will I be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
Once available, options for receiving the vaccine will include doctors' offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals and federally qualified health centers.

Who decides on the priority for receiving COVID-19 vaccinations?
The FDA and CDC make recommendations on COVID-19 vaccine distribution. For more information, please visit the CDC and Wisconsin's Department of Health Services webpages.


Message for Employers
We've created a message you can share with your employees about our coverage for COVID-19 testing and more.

See employee message
Instructions for home isolation for those awaiting COVID-19 test results and guidance for self-care and infection control for those who test positive for COVID-19 will be provided by the provider staff. These instructions will be consistent with the latest CDC recommendations for when it is safe to end home isolation.

Give your employees, customers and worksite visitors a place to wash their hands. If soap and running water are not immediately available, provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol.

Hand hygiene is recommended upon entering/exiting the workplace and frequently throughout the day.

Encourage respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes. Provide employees, customers and the public with tissues and trash receptacles.