Murphy Waives Coronavirus Testing Fees for State Health Coverage
TRENTON — Gov. Phil Murphy is making it possible for those who get their health insurance coverage through the state and public schools to be tested for COVID-19 at no cost.
The action by the departments of Banking and Insurance, Human Services, Health and the Treasury waives consumer cost sharing for all medically necessary COVID-19 testing as well as for services related to testing.
This waiver includes emergency room, urgent care and office visits related to COVID-19 testing for the state’s individual, small and large group markets, the State Health Benefits and School Employee Health Benefits Plans, NJ FamilyCare’s CHIP population and the state's uninsured population eligible for the Charity Care program.
Murphy also encouraged private employers to consider similar measures.
"As we continue to strengthen our efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we must ensure that our residents are focused on their health and not on the cost of medically necessary testing,” Murphy said in a statement. “These actions bolster our state’s coordinated response and preparedness efforts by eliminating affordability concerns for New Jerseyans"
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey announced Friday it would pay all fees for COVID-19 testing. It also waived prior authorization requirements for visits to primary care and urgent care doctors for patients who have symptoms that could indicate coronavirus, as well as prior authorization requirements for diagnostic tests consistent with CDC guidance.
Aetna Insurance, which is owned by drug store chain CVS, announced on Monday it waived all co-pays for diagnostic testing related to COVID-19. It would also waive member costs associated with diagnostic testing at any authorized location for all commercial, Medicare and Medicaid lines of business.
The cost of telemedicine program is also waived for the next 90 days by Aetna.
Steps to prevent the spread of flu and the common cold will also help prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to the New Jersey Department of Health:
- Wash hands often with soap and water. If they're not available, use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home while you are sick and avoid contact with others.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
The CDC says symptoms of COVID-19, which may appear two to 14 days after exposure, include:
- Shortness of breath
If individuals are experiencing symptoms, they should call their healthcare provider before visiting their office.