Owensboro residents receive random COVID-19 testing kits in mail

Owensboro residents receive random COVID-19 testing kits in mail
Owensboro residents receive random COVID-19 testing kits in mail

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - If you’re a WellCare member, you may have received an at-home COVID-19 testing kit in the mail recently.

“I’ve never heard of them just randomly being sent,” said Shouse

A week ago, a WellCare COVID-19 test showed up on Lacey Shouse’s front porch.

The Owensboro woman is a WellCare member, a health care company some Tri-State residents utilize.

“I brought it in. Being curious, I opened it up and the first thing you see is the LabCorp let’s get started. It shows everything that goes in the kit,” explained Shouse.

Lacey was skeptical about the swob test kit and wasn’t sure if it was legit. So, she took to Facebook to see if any other WellCare members had received a test. Sure enough, others had.

“I didn’t know if I was supposed to take it,” said Shouse. “We didn’t receive any information on what I was supposed to do. So about a day later I went ahead and took it not knowing. Not having had symptoms or anything like that.”

She then followed the instructions on how to send the test back.

“They have it easily where you can put it in the bag, put it in a FedEx and go send it off. So after not getting any answers, I called WellCare three times. Their system had been down from Friday onto Monday and nobody could tell me, they didn’t know,” said Shouse.

Then Lacey got a letter in the mail from WellCare explaining why she received a test.

“I think they did everything backward. They should have sent and explained that and then sent the stuff,” shared Shouse.

WellCare tells 14 News that this isn’t a scam at all. This an at-home COVID-19 testing kit they’re sending out to members in the event that can’t or don’t want to get tested in-person.

“I did get a hold of WellCare after talking to three people, and they let me know it was basically a marketing campaign,” said Shouse. “They told me that about 22,900 members here in Owensboro would be receiving them or possibly receiving them.”

Wellcare says their members are encouraged to use the test if they are symptomatic or have had known exposure to the virus.

“I can see now that it would be very helpful for some people that are afraid, you know. Like, I have an elderly grandmother and she can’t get out,” said Shouse.

Lacey is waiting to get her test results.

WellCare says if you are a Medicare member and have questions about the COVID-19 testing kits, to call their customer service number that’s located on the back of your member ID card.

You can read WellCare’s statement below:

WellCare, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation, announced today it will pilot an at-home COVID-19 testing and flu prevention program that will enable eligible Medicare Advantage members to test for COVID-19 infection from the convenience of their own homes. Members are encouraged to use this test if they are symptomatic or have had known exposure to the virus.

“As vaccines begin to be administered across the country, appropriate testing and preventive measures continue to play a critical role in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Michael Polen, Centene’s Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, Medicare Solutions. “Through this program, we want to help prevent the spread of viruses like the flu and COVID-19, while helping our members stay safe and healthy at home.”

All test collection kits are being offered as a one-time benefit to select, eligible WellCare Medicare Advantage members. Each kit includes a COVID-19 PCR test, 20 disposable face masks, hand sanitizer, and an oral digital thermometer to help prevent the spread of and exposure to the flu and COVID-19.

For those who are not eligible to receive a test collection kit, or need additional tests later on, COVID-19 testing is still available to all WellCare Medicare Advantage members through standard in-person channels. The company is covering all medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing and/or medical screening services, and the associated physician’s visit will be covered when ordered, referred, and/or performed in the following in-network locations: physician’s/practitioner’s office, independent laboratory/diagnostic facility, urgent care facility, or emergency department facility.

If you are a WellCare Medicare member and have questions regarding test collection kits, please call WellCare’s customer service number, which is located on the back of your member ID card. WellCare is committed to ensuring continuity of care and services for members and local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more, visit www.WellCareCares.com.

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