COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of quality and affordable health insurance for patients. If you currently find yourself without health insurance, you can review some of your options here.
Common Questions about Insurance Coverage and COVID-19
In most cases, yes. Medicare will cover diagnostic testing for COVID-19 with no cost-sharing if ordered by a healthcare provider. Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and most private insurance plans (including employer-sponsored plans and marketplace plans) are required to cover diagnostic testing for COVID-19 without any cost-sharing and continuing through the end of the federally declared public health emergency. However, certain skimpy healthcare plans – like short-term plans, farm bureau plans and health ministry plans – do not have to cover this testing.
Antibody tests can help to determine if a person was previously infected with a virus, even in individuals who never had any symptoms of the disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ongoing research suggests that antibodies may limit an individual’s infectiousness and provide some protection against reinfection, but we still do not know exactly how much protection antibodies offer and how long that protection lasts.
The requirements for insurance coverage of antibody testing are the same as the requirements for diagnostic testing above—so in most cases, if ordered by a healthcare provider, antibody testing must be covered for patients without cost-sharing as well.
Treatment for COVID-19 could include doctors' visits, hospitalizations, prescription medications and other medical services. Coverage for and the cost of these services will depend on your individual health insurance plan. Some private insurance plans have voluntarily agreed to waive costs for COVID-19 treatment, but the services included, length of time and other key details vary from plan to plan. State Medicaid and CHIP plans must cover COVID-19 treatment without cost-sharing through the end of the federally declared public health emergency in order to qualify for extra financial support from the federal government.
According to the CDC, the COVID-19 vaccine is available at no cost to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status. Vaccine providers may ask for insurance information so they can seek reimbursement for vaccine administration costs.
The federal government will cover 100 percent of the costs for states to cover COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccines for the uninsured through their Medicaid programs.2
COVID-19 has made access to quality and affordable healthcare more important than ever. If you are uninsured and looking to enroll in healthcare coverage, check out our guide to see what options are available and help you through the enrollment process. Depending on your income, you may qualify for financial assistance for coverage.
COVID-19 Care for Uninsured Individuals. https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/covid-19-care-uninsured-individuals/index.html
States must apply for a state plan amendment or waiver with the federal government to implement this policy. More information is available at: https://www.medicaid.gov/resources-for-states/disaster-response-toolkit/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/index.html
Page last updated: October 11, 2021