We've done a little digging and found what different types of insured patients and uninsured patients will have to pay for Covid 19 testing.
Among the many important considerations during this pandemic is, who and how much you’ll pay for Covid 19 testing and treatment? Lab tests conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health laboratories are the only ones that are free. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and private health insurance companies have drafted policies over the past few days regards testing and treatment and what patients will pay for Covid 19 testing.
According to CMS, Medicare Part B covers a test if ordered by your doctor or another health care provider and if the test was conducted on or after February 4, 2020. If you are enrolled under Original Medicare, you will not pay anything for getting a clinical diagnostic test for an infection.
“Anyone who feels like they need a test, we don’t want costs to be a barrier to getting that test,” said CMS administrator Seema Verma during a tele-town hall event for AARP members.
Additionally, Medicare enrollees can hold a video call their doctor (telehealth) for a consult to avoid the risk of exposure to themselves and others, which is also covered by Medicare. Covered telehealth services include:
State Medicaid and CHIP programs have been provided the following guidance by CMS:
The COVID-19 test is covered under Medicaid’s mandatory laboratory service if ordered by or under the guidance of a physician or other licensed care provider. If the state has a Medicaid cost-sharing policy for the COVID-19 test, it can be eliminated by submitting an application. Similarly, states can stop charging copayments for specific items of services under CHIP by submitting a disaster relief application.
Beneficiaries who are quarantined in the community
Here’s what private health insurance companies are doing with respect to cost-sharing:
Information on how to pay for Covid 19 testing in other insurance plans can be found here.
The House has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which became a law on March 18th. Provisions in the Act will allow states to expand Medicaid coverage to uninsured individuals for COVID-19 diagnosis and testing. So, the uninsured could access free testing without any cost sharing. Treatment costs are not covered under this bill.
Find out if your state health department is offering the test, which will be free of cost
This information is up-to-date as of 3/31/20
And because it can’t be repeated enough, read – “Covid 19 – Reducing the Risk of Infection” and join our Facebook Group, “Covid 19 Updates for Immunocompromised Communities“.
Patients Rising University acknowledges the important contributions of Surabhi Dangi-Garimella Ph.D. in this article. Improving patient access is our mission and we’re happy to utilize a variety of experts to carry that out.
7/31/20: “Federal Push for Faster, Cheaper Coronavirus Tests Focuses on 7 New Technologies” by NPR News.
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