COVID-19 Special Coverage
New York governor orders health insurers to waive cost of coronavirus tests
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New York governor orders health insurers to waive cost of coronavirus tests

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a directive Monday ordering state health insurance to waive the costs associated with coronavirus testing, “including emergency room, urgent care and office visits.”

Cuomo made the announcement on Twitter, emphasizing that cost should not be a barrier to those seeking to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus. He elaborated that Medicaid recipients in New York will not pay a co-pay for any coronavirus testing and that tests being conducted at the state’s Wadsworth Lab are already fully covered.

The directive, promulgated by the State Department of Financial Services (DFS), offers additional guidance to insurers regarding actions they should take in preparation for the potential impact of COVID-19 on New Yorkers. These include devoting resources to keeping consumers informed of available benefits and developing telehealth programs with their participating providers.

“We have the best health-care system in the world, and we are leveraging that system including our state-of-the-art Wadsworth testing lab to help contain any potential spread of the novel coronavirus in New York,” Cuomo stated. “Containing this virus depends on us having the facts about who has it—and these measures will break down any barriers that could prevent New Yorkers from getting tested.”

In the US, there are now more than 100 confirmed cases of the virus in 15 states, resulting in six deaths. The second case of the virus in New York was confirmed by Cuomo on Tuesday—a man living in Westchester County just outside New York City.