Telehealth is a free and easy way to see if COVID-19 oral antivirals such as Paxlovid, are right for you. Oral antivirals, which are COVID-19 treatment pills taken by mouth, are available by prescription only. They must be taken within the first five days of experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or testing positive for COVID-19.
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and want to schedule a virtual telehealth appointment with a health care provider to determine treatment eligibility, learn more about this service below and how to book a free virtual appointment. This service is currently provided by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) in collaboration with Color Health.
UPDATE: Oral antiviral medications are often used in the treatment of COVID-19. Previously, the federal government provided oral antivirals like Paxlovid and Lagevrio at no cost to health care providers and the general public. As of November 2023, most pharmacies and clinics are required to purchase this medication. This change may now affect how much you pay for the medication. DOH COVID-19 telehealth consultations remain free.
Who Should Take Paxlovid and When?
- You have mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms.
- Treatment must begin as soon as possible after testing positive and within five days of symptom onset.
- You should be 12 years of age or older.
- You should also be at higher risk for severe disease, such as being older than 50 years of age or having certain medical conditions, such as chronic heart or lung disease, obesity, diabetes or a weakened immune response.
How to Set Up a Telehealth Appointment
If you think you might be eligible for oral antiviral treatment, begin your free consultation below and complete a brief intake form.
Completing the intake form to request a consultation should take you approximately 5 minutes. If the information provided indicates you may be eligible for treatment, you will be given a link for a video consultation with a health care provider. After joining the video call, a health care provider will join you within 5–30 minutes to complete the evaluation.
After receiving a telehealth consultation, if treatment is appropriate for you, you will receive a prescription for either free home delivery or pharmacy pickup.
Telehealth providers are available every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Pacific standard time (PST). Language assistance is also available.Telehealth providers are available every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Pacific standard time (PST). Language assistance is available. If you do not have access to a computer or smart phone, you can call 1-833-273-6330 to complete the questionnaire over the phone with a support agent.
Note: If you need additional languages assistance, or other COVID-19 services please reach out to the DOH information line at 1-800-525-0127. You can also learn more about other COVID-19 services and programs that might be available to support you.
- How will the cost of what I pay for oral antiviral medication change?
You might have to pay more for these medications depending on your insurance. If you're uninsured or on Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Affairs, or Indian Health Services, oral antiviral prescriptions will still be available at no cost though the U.S. Government Patient Assistance Program. Call 1-877-219-7225 or visit the PAXCESS Patient Portal to enroll.
Individuals with private insurance can apply for the Co-Pay Savings program at Paxlovid.com to access reduced or no-cost medication.
- I think I may have COVID-19. How can I talk with a health care provider to see if I need oral antivirals?
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) offers free consultations through their COVID-19 Telehealth program for individuals with COVID-19 symptoms. It’s possible you could obtain a prescription for oral antiviral medication through this program that you then could pick-up at a pharmacy or have delivered to your home.
- How do I know if I qualify for the free DOH COVID-19 Telehealth program?
To qualify for the free COVID-19 Telehealth program, you should have mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms, be 12 years or older, and at higher risk for severe disease or certain medication conditions.
- How do I access DOH’s free COVID-19 Telehealth program?
You can start your free, video consultation by clicking on “Begin Your Free Consultation” on the DOH website to register online or by calling 1-833-273-6330 to complete a questionnaire with a support agent over the phone.
Remember, DOH telehealth consultations are free, but the cost and distribution method of the oral antiviral medication to treat COVID-19 might change based on your insurance coverage.
- Where can I learn more about COVID-19 treatments?
Learn more about COVID-19 treatments.
- Get vaccinated and boosted
- COVID-19 treatments are not a substitute for vaccination. Vaccination is still the best method to prevent serious illness, including hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Learn more about getting vaccinated.
- Other considerations if you are COVID-19 positive
Isolation and quarantine are key strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you test positive for COVID-19, have symptoms, or are identified as a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, you should isolate or quarantine as appropriate.
For more details on isolation and quarantine, including activities you should avoid during your isolation or quarantine period, please see DOH’s guidance What to do if you test positive for COVID-19 and What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19. You can also visit the CDC’s Quarantine and Isolation page.
- Need additional assistance?
For general inquiries on the telehealth initiative, other COVID-19 related guidance, or if you need food or other assistance while you isolate, please call the DOH information line at 1-800-525-0127.