Washington insurance companies must wave coronavirus testing deductibles and copays

coronavirus testing - disease - health
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The state’s insurance commissioner ordered insurers not to charge policyholders for that service.

Washington’s Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has ordered insurers not to charge coronavirus testing deductibles and copays for policyholders who need it.

State residents who need to be tested will not need to pay for any part of that test.

Kreidler initially announced the new coronavirus testing coverage requirement at a news conference last Thursday. He stated that insurance companies would not be permitted to charge their customers deductibles or copays when the policyholder needs to be tested.

State authorities have also said that individuals who are required to consult with an out of network provider will still be covered by their policy as though that medical expert was covered by their health plan. The order became immediately effective and will remain in force until May 4.

There were a number of additional insurance and healthcare requirements beyond coronavirus testing.

The Washington insurance commissioner’s office’s order to insurance companies stated that they must:

  • Permit a one-time early prescription drugs refill.
  • Remove any requirements for prior authorization for tests and treatment for possible and confirmed COVID-19 cases.
  • Allow plan holders to be treated by health care providers outside the network within a reasonable distance at no added cost if the insurance company doesn’t have enough medical providers to provide covered individuals with the tests or treatment they require for COVID-19.

The coronavirus testing and other orders apply to all state-regulated health insurance plans for the effective period until May 4. There have already been dozens of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, as well as around a dozen deaths by the time this article was written. The majority of the cases are located in the Seattle area, though one was reported in central Washington’s rural Grant County.

Vice President Mike Pence met with Washington Governor Jay Inslee and other officials while visiting the state last Thursday. They met to discuss the COVID-19 response within the state as well as across the country. As of this writing, coronavirus testing - disease - healthWashington is the first and only state to have imposed this regulation on its insurers, but others may soon follow.

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