FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 18, 2020
(LANSING, MICH) Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) announced that the state has secured agreements from nearly all of the state’s health insurers to waive all out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing and treatments through the end of 2020, including copays, deductibles, and coinsurance. These agreements cover more than 92% of the commercial health insurance market in Michigan.
“Ensuring access to appropriate testing and medical treatment without financial concern is an important part of fighting this virus,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “We’re continuing to work around the clock to slow the spread of this virus and keep people healthy, and I am thankful that Michigan’s health insurers have continued to step up to do their part.”
At least through year’s end, consumers with these individual and group health plans will not be charged cost-sharing for medically appropriate COVID-19-related medical treatment, such as primary care visits, diagnostic testing, emergency room visits, ambulance services, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medications and vaccines when they become available.
“Once again, our Governor has shown strong leadership to protect the health of the residents of this state,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Eliminating financial barriers to testing and treatment will ensure that Michiganders can focus on getting appropriate care, instead of worrying about how they are going to pay COVID-19-related medical bills.”
The insurers who have agreed to waive cost-sharing are:
The waived cost-sharing applies to commercial health insurance products from the insurers named in the state agreement. Consumers seeking COVID-19 testing or treatment should contact their insurance company to find out about their coverage. Insured consumers who pay up front or receive a bill for COVID-19 testing or treatment should contact their insurance company for assistance.
Under the U.S. Families First Coronavirus Response Act, consumers with health insurance through Oscar, UnitedHealthcare, and other insurers not named in the state agreement currently have COVID-19 coverage without out-of-pocket costs during the federal public health emergency, which is currently set to expire in late October. These insurers may extend their coverage with no out-of-pocket costs so consumers should contact their agent or call the number on the back of their card to ask about their coverage before incurring costs for COVID-19 testing or treatment. In accordance with federal law, consumers with Medicaid or Medicare may also receive a no-cost COVID-19 test and related services provided by a health care provider.
DIFS can help consumers with health insurance questions and complaints. In addition, the Michigan Health Insurance Consumer Assistance Program (HICAP) can provide shopping tips and help answer questions about health insurance including Special Enrollment Periods for those experiencing job loss or an income reduction. Contact DIFS Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 877-999-6442 or DIFS-HICAP@michigan.gov.
The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/difs or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.