Updated March 31, 2020
There are few things the novel coronavirus isn’t affecting. But the news isn’t all bad — states are starting to issue emergency orders to insurance companies to waive some coronavirus costs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said testing is now available in all 50 states.
This week Lab Corp. announced it was offering free tests and Quest Diagnostics has begun testing samples.
Your plan will likely cover testing for the virus if you have health insurance. The recent $2 trillion stimulus package passed last week requires the insurance industry to provide first-dollar coverage for testing, emergency room care and for future vaccines.
Insurers Cigna and Humana have joined Aetna in waiving patient cost-sharing for all treatment costs, including hospitalizations, medications and future vaccines. Most health insurers cover coronavirus testing and diagnosis. Here are some of the major ones:
Medicare Part B covers coronavirus tests when your doctor or other health care provider orders it, as long as you got the test on or after February 4, 2020.
Aetna is waiving the copay for coronavirus testing for patients who meet the CDC guidelines, for most plans. The insurer is also offering no-copay virtual visits for any reason and allow prescription holders to get their prescriptions 90 days early, waiving charges associated with home delivery. If you become infected with coronavirus, Aetna will also send a care package with over-the-counter medication, home remedies and cleaning supplies to disinfect your area.
Anthem will cover coronavirus testing, with no out-of-pocket costs. But you’ll still have to pay out-of-pocket costs for any other health expenses related to the virus, depending on your plan.
Blue Cross Blue Shield and its network of 36 companies will waive the costs associated with covered coronavirus services, including testing and prescription refill limits for most plans. They also plan to expand access to virtual visits.
Cigna will waive copays and cost-shares for coronavirus testing for most plans. The insurer is also offering 24/7 support specifically for those seeking help for a coronavirus-related issue.
Oscar will waive cost-sharing for diagnostic coronavirus testing, and continues to offer telemedicine services at no cost.
United Healthcare Group will waive copays, coinsurance, deductibles and cost-shares for coronavirus testing for patients who meet CDC guidelines, for most plans.
If you’re not sure if your insurer covers testing or treatment, check online or call your provider.
Image: Hulton Deutsch