U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and a group of Senate Democrats have introduced legislation that would ensure free coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.
Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Tina Smith (D-MN), Gary Peters (D-MI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Patty Murray (D-WA) are among those joining Brown in introducing the Free COVID-19 Testing Act.
“Ohioans concerned about their health and the health of others shouldn’t have to worry about the cost of getting tested for coronavirus,” Brown said in a statement. “Removing cost barriers will help more Americans get tested and help slow the spread of the virus.”
If passed, 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. Additionally, private insurers would be barred from imposing limits like prior authorization for testing.
As for uninsured individuals, the bill 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.
A full text of the Free COVID-19 Testing Act can be found at the following link.