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March 07, 2020

Some insurance companies now covering the cost of coronavirus testing

Independence Blue Cross, AmeriHealth among those covering test fees

As coronavirus tests become more available in the U.S., information on their costs is becoming more clear. 

Independence Blue Cross announced Friday that it will cover the fees for COVID-19 tests and waive cost-sharing measures, including copays and coinsurance, when the tests are performed at a hospital or approved laboratory. 

This includes members who are enrolled fully with their insurance plans, under employer-sponsor plans, Medicare Advantage plans, or the Affordable Care Act. 

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, the largest healthcare provider in New Jersey, also will be covering costs, the company announced Saturday. AmeriHealth New Jersey said they too will be helping with test fees. 

Initially, the CDC was the only facility equipped to test for coronavirus. It is not billing for coronavirus testing. 

The CDC since has approved state labs in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to administer COVID-19 tests. Tests administered by these labs also is intended to be free, regardless of insurance. 

But as the disease gains momentum in the U.S., some hospital labs also are conducting tests – and those tests often come at a cost to the patient. Some patients have reportedly been charged upwards of $3,000 – a figure that could prevent people from seeking tested.

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