CMS implements law requiring health insurance coverage of COVID-19 tests

April 15, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), together with the Departments of Labor and the Treasury, issued guidance to ensure Americans with private health insurance have coverage of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnostic testing and certain other related services, including antibody testing, at no cost.

The goal is to ensure people have access to COVID-19 tests as well as antibody testing, which may enable healthcare workers and other people to get back to work quickly, the CMS said in a news release.

The guidance implements the recently enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which require that private health issuers and employer group health plans cover COVID-19 testing and certain related items and services furnished during the COVID-19 pandemic, with no out-of-pocket expenses.

Covered COVID-19 tests include all FDA-authorized COVID-19 diagnostic tests, COVID-19 diagnostic tests that developers request authorization for on an emergency basis, and COVID-19 diagnostic tests developed in and authorized by states. It also ensures that COVID-19 antibody testing will also be covered.

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