Oregon, Washington, and California insurance regulators have reached agreements with health insurance companies in their states to waive cost-sharing for patients who may be seeking testing for COVID-19.
We’ve broken down the details by state for you here.
Regulators in California ordered commercial health insurers to waive copays and deductibles for people requiring COVID-19 testing. The state is also requiring insurers to waive all costs for testing, urgent care, emergency room and office visits for both screening and testing. Click here to see the full bulletin and details of what is covered at no or reduced cost.
State regulators have been working directly with insurance companies and pushing to provide testing at no cost to members. These agreements mean that people with insurance will not face co-payments, co-insurance or deductibles for COVID-19 testing at in-network healthcare providers or emergency rooms. In Oregon, the following insurance companies have committed to this agreement so far:
- BridgeSpan Health Company
- Health Net Health Plan of Oregon, Inc.
- Kaiser Permanente
- Moda Health Plan, Inc.
- PacificSource Health Plans
- Providence Health Plans
- Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Samaritan Health Plans, Inc.
Regulators in Washington made similar sweeping requirements as in California. The insurance commissioner ordered all health plans his office regulates to waive copays and deductibles for people requiring testing for COVID-19. This order remains in effect for a minimum of two weeks based on the timing of an emergency order from the Governor. It may be extended after two weeks depending on the development of the disease. For more information on testing availability and locations in Washington, visit the Washington State Department of Health website.
Officials from the three states are still working on a similar deal for self-insured health plans, as well as to clarify with the federal government about exceptions to cost-sharing for Medicare Advantage plans, and health savings account eligible high-deduction plans. Regular terms of insurance still apply outside of the testing and immunizations.
Due to the limited availability of testing, remind plan members that they will likely only be able to be tested if they are exhibiting specific symptoms.
These agreements and mandates currently only apply to fully-insured plans in these states. Some carriers may also be voluntarily offering this coverage for level-funded plan participants. Self-funded plans are currently not required to comply.
How Coronavirus Impacts the Insurance Industry
We understand the rapid pace of new information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. If you have questions about your insurance coverage, contact your or Aldrich service team.
Our Aldrich Benefits team is monitoring the changing landscape of the insurance industry and will continue to provide updates regarding and changes that may affect your plan. For more information on the coronavirus, we recommend visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official website.