Despite The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, COVID-19 Evaluation Is Not Necessarily Free
Under new federal legislation, testing for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the associated visit is now free for most people. However, patients can still receive a bill after a visit for COVID-19 evaluation because the new law doesn’t account for all of the many ways this evaluation might occur. For example, if a COVID-19 test is not ordered, perhaps due to lack of access to testing, patients could be responsible for the cost of the visit. In a new Health Affairs blog post and Detroit Free Press op-ed piece, Dr. Kao-Ping Chua reviews the scenarios under which COVID-19 evaluation is and is not free, and argues that federal legislation is needed to completely eliminate patient financial liability for COVID-19 evaluation, regardless of the nature of that evaluation.