Supporting you with long COVID

Many people have found that they’re experiencing long-term problems after having COVID-19. Whether you feel short of breath after going upstairs, have fatigue that just won’t shift, or you’re feeling anxious after experiencing the illness: the symptoms of long COVID can be as varied as they are distressing. 

What’s long COVID?

Most people recover fully from COVID-19. But for some, it's a long road to recovery, with symptoms that continue several weeks after they caught the virus. These effects are now being recognised as a new condition – long COVID.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence describes symptoms lasting 4-12 weeks after initial infection as “ongoing symptomatic COVID-19” and symptoms after 12 weeks as “post-COVID-19 syndrome”, also known as long COVID.

The symptoms of long COVID include:

  • fatigue
  • muscle and body aches
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • loss of hearing
  • confusion
  • sharp or sudden chest pain
  • depression and/or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • cognitive impairment.

One in ten1 people who test positive for COVID-19 report symptoms lasting 12 weeks or more. Long COVID isn't just a long recovery from the original virus. Even people who have relatively mild cases can be left with lasting and severe health problems that render them unable to work, and require them to adapt their lives to cope with the symptoms. 

Helping our members on the road to recovery

To help you start feeling more like yourself again, we’ve worked with leading experts who’ve been at the forefront of the pandemic to develop specific, dedicated support– including fast access to specialist help or to a comprehensive rehabilitation programme – and it’s already set up and ready to support our members. Whether you have an underlying condition that’s been made worse or need treatment and rehabilitation, we’ll make sure you’re speaking to the people who can help – quickly and easily. All you need is a referral – for example from a GP or a specialist – and we’ll get everything moving. 

What do I need to do?

  1. If you have been referred for long COVID support by a GP or specialist call 0800 068 7111.
  2. We’ll arrange a remote consultation with a specialist led by a team of long COVID experts. They’re ready to guide you on your road to recovery through the most appropriate treatment – whether that’s further diagnostics or access to the rehabilitation programme.
  3. The rehabilitation programme gives you access to as much support as possible from home, even fitting around your working day, if needed. It includes weekly calls with a specially trained rehabilitation physiotherapist, online group support and plenty of tailored resources – because everyone experiences long COVID differently

Accessing treatment 

For the initial remote diagnosis stage, you’ll need cover on your plan for outpatient specialist consultations and diagnostic tests. If it’s appropriate for you to take part in the rehabilitation programme only, you don’t need to have outpatient cover on your plan. Our claims team will confirm what cover is available during the initial call. The excesses on your plan will apply as normal.  

1 The prevalence of long COVID symptoms and COVID-19 complications – Office for National Statistics.

2 The rehabilitation programme sits outside of out-patient and therapy benefit limitations, but any excess will apply.