Making Sense of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act : COVID-19 Testing
Posted on March 31 2020
Covid-19 has taken the world by storm and has left many households questioning their financial future. I've gotten countless updates from companies I forgot I had even subscribed to sharing what they're doing in this time of crisis. Honestly, when I read them, all I could think about was ," How does this help me?". Telling me I can still make my payment online, when I'm not even getting a check is the LASSTTT thing I want to read.
A few weeks ago I hosted an Instagram live discussing FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) and options mommas can take to get paid without going to work. Unfortunately, those options didn't work for everybody, but GREAT NEWS! In response to the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act) on March 18, 2020.
The Act is an economic stimulus plan that affects coverage and cost sharing for COVID-19 testing and provides expanded federal family and medical leave and a new federal paid sick leave law.
The Act also addresses other issues such as coverage and cost sharing for COVID-19 testing under Medicare and Medicaid, emergency grants to states for unemployment insurance, and employer amounts paid to maintain health coverage for employees who take leave under the Act.
It can be a little overwhelming to digest these documents with all its political and healthcare jargon so I’m going to break it down for you. There will be a blog for each topic discussed in the Act.
COVERAGE FOR TESTING FOR COVID-19
This Act is an economic stimulus plan that affects coverage and cost sharing for COVID-19 testing. What does “cost sharing” mean? It means the amount that you pay which could be deductibles, co-pays, or coinsurance. Until the end of the national emergency period (which is April 1st, 2020 until December 31st 2020) insurance companies cannot impose cost sharing, prior authorization or medical management requirements for the following items and services related to COVID-19 testing:
- In vitro diagnostic products (which is long for “testing”) for SARS-CoV-2 or the diagnosis of the virus causes COVID-19 that have been approved or cleared by the FDA.
- Items and services given to an individual during health care provider visits that results in an order for or administration of testing.
Basically, when it comes to charges due to COVID-19 testing you will not be responsible for payments, however any services rendered afterward such as hospitalization due to COVID-19 you would be subject to your normal deductible or coinsurance.
This part is specific to testing only not the aftermath of a diagnosis.
If you believe you may have been exposed and are experiencing symptoms, be sure to call your healthcare provider prior to going to the doctor’s office. Healthcare systems are currently at capacity or very close to it. It is more dangerous for you to expose yourself and others who may be in the waiting room than getting guidance over the phone. If you need to speak to someone, take advantage of telemedicine. Many healthcare providers offer a virtual online visit and are waiving co-pays for their members. If you do not have insurance Anthem is only charging $60 to use their telemedicine platform, which is way cheaper than a hospital visit.
This is great news. Free is me! Though many people want peace of mind when it comes to COVID-19 and many are flocking to get results, its hard to get a right now. Many are coming, but they are being held for high-risk patients.
Whenever I do blogs or provide updates, it’s my desire to provide fact based information straight from the horses mouth. Click here to read the full Act. It’s a doozy to read, but don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions. You can always email at firstname.lastname@example.org
This information is general and is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal advice. You should not act on this information without consulting legal counsel or other knowledgeable advisors.