State Medicaid program waives copays for coronavirus tests, treatment

Image of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the disease that flared in Wuhan, China, in late December | National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Lab

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has announced that the Michigan Medicaid program is waiving all co-pays and cost-sharing for testing and health care treatment related to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

=Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at LCC, Oct. 10, 2019 | Nick Manes

According to a news release on Friday from her office, several insurers will fully cover the cost COVID-19 tests and treatment for members. Those insurers include:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • Blue Care Network of Michigan
  • Priority Health
  • CVS Health
  • McLaren
  • Meridian

Whitmer also encouraged other health insurers in Michigan to follow suit.

“So far we have no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Michigan; however we must take steps to ensure every Michigander has access to the care they need to combat the spread of this disease,” said Whitmer.

According to the World Health Organization, there are now more than 110,000 confirmed cases and 3,800 deaths globally. There were 213 confirmed cases and 22 deaths reported in the United States. No cases have been reported in Michigan, but there are 47 people in the state that meet symptom criteria for the disease, and 11 tests are currently pending, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website.

DHHS increases coronavirus testing capacity, 8 tests pending

As previously reported by the Advance, the DHHS Bureau of Laboratories has increased its testing capacity for COVID-19. DHHS says it can now test more than 300 Michiganders for the virus.

In addition, Whitmer also recently created four task forces to combat the spread of coronavirus and assess the impact it may have on Michiganders’ day-to-day lives. The task forces are focused on state operations; health and human services; education; and the economy and workforce.

Last week, President Trump signed an $8.3 billion emergency COVID-19 package into law. Michigan will be receiving $14.5 million to combat the spread of the disease if it appears in the state.