Coronavirus testing is free for most Americans. In most cases, you can get tested for free whether you have health insurance or not. Please note however that treatment for COVID-19 is not free.
- Why is testing free? Testing was made free by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020.
- How to get free testing? Testing is automatically free on all major medical health plans including marketplace plans, Medicare plans (via Part B), and most employer plans, otherwise Medicaid covers testing. Testing however may not be covered under certain plans like short term health plans.
Check out the excerpt from the Families First Response Act that makes tests free for most Americans. You can confirm the details yourself by reading the bill.
DIVISION F–HEALTH PROVISIONS (Sec. 6001) This section requires private health insurance to cover testing for COVID-19 without imposing cost-sharing (e.g., deductibles, coinsurance, or copayments) for the duration of the public health emergency declared on January 31, 2020. This coverage includes the cost of administering such approved tests and related visits to health care providers.
TIP: In non-emergencies, make sure to check with your insurer to double check what is and isn’t covered under your plan. Also, if you don’t have insurance, make sure to ask the provider who would administer the test to make sure you are covered. Out-of-network non-covered services can still result in charges, avoid surprise billing for treatment by talking to your insurance and providers first.