An administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said today that any costs associated with the coronavirus test would be covered by Medicare and Medicaid.
Seema Verma’s remarks followed an announcement by Vice President Mike Pence Tuesday evening saying that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would issue new guidance that “any American can be tested (for coronavirus), no restrictions, subject to doctors’ orders.”
Asked by CNN if the testing would be free and what would be done to help those who could not afford it, Pence said guidance was going to be sent out immediately that notes that Medicare and Medicaid covers the test.
Verma noted that it is a diagnostic test so it would be covered under insurance as an essential health benefit and is a covered service in the exchanges — in Medicaid and in Medicare.
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield added that the test the CDC provides to the public health community is provided free of charge to public health labs across the country.
Pence said that there was concern that some people felt they could not be tested if they were only mildly symptomatic, but the new guidance will make clear “that any clinician or health authority can administer the test.”