House Passes Wilson Legislation Guaranteeing Free COVID-19 Testing for All Americans
Washington, D.C. – The House passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to support American families and the millions of people who may be directly or indirectly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The comprehensive, bipartisan package includes Congresswoman Frederica Wilson’s No Cost for COVID-19 Testing Act, which codifies the promises made by insurers to cover COVID-19 at no cost to patients and fills potential gaps in coverage for people in self-insured plans.
“We are dealing with a virus that is difficult to understand and difficult to treat,” said Rep. Wilson. “Given so much uncertainty, it is imperative that people who need to be tested not hesitate because of fear about costs. This bill will give Americans the confidence to seek the testing they need without having to worry about how to pay for it, which will in turn help to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in our communities and workplaces.”
Despite the Trump administration’s announcement that COVID-19 testing will be fully covered for all patients under the Affordable Care Act, it does not have the authority to enforce this requirement for a vast majority of plans. While states 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 text of the No Cost for COVID-19 Testing Act, click here.