Congress Said COVID-19 Tests Should Be Free — But Who’s Paying?
By Editor - Fri May 22, 4:07 am
Hospitals around the country are afraid to send out hundreds of thousands of bills related to COVID-19 testing. That’s because Congress mandated there would be no copays and no out-of-pocket costs for patients. But many employers with self-funded health plans seem to believe they’re exempt from the rules. When testing kits were still scarce, Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, fired up its clinical labs. It almost single-handedly took over testing in much of Tennessee. Other health systems didn’t even try to compete, although the tests were supposed to be covered by insurance. In late March, Congress passed two laws, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the CARES Act, that essentially stated that not only does testing have to be covered, but patients shouldn’t have to pay a dime. Yet VUMC has found that’s frequently not the case.
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