Congresswoman Kim Schrier, D-Wash., Eighth District, has introduced legislation requiring all health insurance plans to cover the full cost of COVID-19 testing for U.S. consumers.
The No Cost for COVID-19 Testing Act codifies the promises made by insurers to cover the virus at no cost to patients and fills potential gaps in coverage for people in self-insured plans.
“Washington state has led the way by making sure people under state insurance plans and without health insurance can have COVID-19 testing covered. That’s a great start,” said Schrier, a practicing pediatrician before earning a seat in the House of Representatives. “But many of my constituents have insurance through their employers or another private insurance provider. This bill will keep people from paying exorbitant prices for the test, which protects the public, and may save their life. It is in all of our best interest to get people tested so they don’t infect others. Cost should not be a deterrent.”
While states like Washington have taken steps to provide coverage for COVID-19, many insurers and plans have opted to only voluntarily cover these services. Without federal action, uniform coverage requirements across all health insurance payers will not exist.
The No Cost for COVID-19 Testing Act would create a uniform, federally required standard that all insurers cover the full cost of testing. Specifically, this legislation would mandate commercial payers selling individual or group health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, including ERISA plans and grandfathered plans, to cover all COVID-19 testing without patient cost-sharing – including copays, coinsurance, and deductibles.
To read the bill text for the No Cost for COVID-19 Testing Act, click here.