March 13, 2020

Warner And Kaine Introduce Legislation To Expand Free Coronavirus Testing

Bill Would Provide Free Diagnostic Testing And Related Health Care Services For Americans Receiving Tests To Confirm Coronavirus Infection

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine joined their colleagues in introducing the Free COVID-19 Testing Act, legislation that would expand free tests to confirm coronavirus (COVID-19) infections.

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. Private insurers would be barred from imposing limits like prior authorization for testing. For uninsured individuals, this legislation 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.

“Costs should never be a barrier to accessing potentially life-saving testing,” Warner and Kaine said. “This legislation ensures any Virginian can get tested without the fear of a medical bill they can’t afford. The Senate must immediately pass this critical legislation to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and protect public health.”

This legislation was led by Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). In addition to  Warner and Kaine, this legislation is also cosponsored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Angus King (I-Maine), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.).

You can access text of the bill here.


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