Sen. King, colleagues introduce legislation to ensure free COVID-19 testing

Fri, 03/13/2020 - 2:15pm

BRUNSWICK — U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) joined a group of his Senate colleagues March 13 to introduce the Free COVID-19 Testing Act, legislation that would ensure free tests to confirm coronavirus (COVID-19) infections, according to a news release.

“We can’t make evidence-based decisions about how to fight this pandemic without evidence,” said Senator King. “This is a public health emergency, and no one should be questioning whether they can afford to get tested. We need to do the right thing for the health of the nation, and remove any and all obstacles that prevent our scientists from understanding how widely coronavirus is spreading.”

The Free COVID-19 Testing Act would waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and related health care services for individuals enrolled in private health plans, Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, CHIP, TRICARE, VA as well as for federal civilians, American Indians and Alaska Natives, per the release.

Private insurers would be barred from imposing limits like prior authorization for testing, according to the release. 

For uninsured individuals, this legislation would cover the cost of lab fees, and states would have the option and new incentives to cover COVID-19 diagnostic testing and related health care services through their Medicaid programs, per the release.