State announces free telehealth, Covid-19 treatment pill program

May 9, 2022

Massachusetts residents who test positive for Covid-19 and have mild to moderate symptoms can now access a free telehealth program to see if they’re eligible for a treatment pill, which will also be free.

The state announced its new program, a partnership with the health technology company Color Health, on May 4.

Adults 18 years old and older can access the program online. Essentially, residents can now access a free telehealth consultation with health-care clinicians. If eligible, residents will be given a prescription for Paxlovid, a Covid-19 treatment pill that can “reduce the risk for severe symptoms and hospitalizations by nearly 90 percent,” the state’s press release states.

The program can also be accessed in Spanish, Haitian Creole and Portuguese.

A telehealth visit includes a short health intake survey, according to the state’s website, and could include a video consultation with a clinician. If it’s determined that a resident is eligible for Paxlovid, the health-care clinician will help send a prescription to a local pharmacy or arrange for free overnight delivery to the resident’s home.

Paxlovid has been authorized for emergency use by the FDA for the treatment of mild-to-moderate Covid-19 in adults who have tested positive for the virus and who may be at high risk for hospitalization or death. A Paxlovid prescription consists of two doses of three pills per day for five days, according to the drug’s website.

Residents do not need to have health insurance to access the program, the state’s website states, and both the telehealth program and Paxlovid prescription are free.

Case counts are going up statewide in recent weeks. Dartmouth reported a 6.75% positivity rate for the past two weeks on May 5.