Insurance Coverage and COVID-19
Do I have to pay to get a coronavirus test?
No. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act waives out-of-pocket costs for testing for all individuals, including those with private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, VA, FEHBP, and TRICARE, as well as the uninsured. This law also prohibits plans from using tools like prior authorization to limit access to testing.
Will I have to pay for a coronavirus vaccine when I am able to receive one?
No. The vaccines are purchased by the federal government with taxpayer dollars and the law prevents health care providers from billing patients for the vaccine, regardless of your insurance type or even if you are uninsured. Michigan announced that everyone 16 or older will be able to receive a vaccine beginning April 5. You can find additional vaccine information from Michigan here.
I lost my job because of coronavirus and I had employer-sponsored health insurance. What are my options?
If you lost your job and had employer-sponsored health coverage, you qualify for a 60-day special enrollment period to enroll in a new insurance plan on the health insurance exchange. President Biden has also opened a special enrollment period for all Americans from February 15, 2021, to August 15, 2021, to allow individuals to purchase health coverage.
You may also qualify for tax credits to assist with affording health insurance through the exchange. The American Rescue Plan Act contained provisions to expand tax credits, significantly lowering or even eliminating premiums for many Americans as of April 1, 2021. You can determine what assistance you qualify for here and see available health plan options here.
You may be offered COBRA continuation coverage by your former employer. This will allow you to keep your current coverage. Under the American Rescue Plan Act, 100% of COBRA coverage will be subsidized by the federal government. Click here for more information on COBRA.
If your income is less than $16,000 for a single person or $33,000 for a family of four, you may qualify for the Healthy Michigan Plan or traditional Medicaid. To see if you are eligible for these programs, apply here.
If you’re under 26, you may be able to be added to a parent’s coverage. If you are married and your spouse has an offer of health insurance coverage through their employer, your spouse may also be able to add you to their coverage.
Consumers should contact the Michigan Department of Insurance Financial Services toll free at 877-999-6442 if they need assistance. The Michigan Health Insurance Consumer Assistance Program (HICAP) can provide shopping tips and help answer questions about health insurance or Special Enrollment Periods.
I have private insurance. Will I get billed for coronavirus treatments if my family or I get sick?
Many private insurance companies have waived out of pocket payments for coronavirus-related treatments. Check with your insurance provider to see what services and payments they have waived.
Are short-term plans a good option? I might only be out of work temporarily.
No. Short-term plans usually do not provide comprehensive coverage, and could lead to high bills if you need to be treated for coronavirus or any other serious illness or injury. Verify the plan you’re enrolling in covers the essential health benefits that the Affordable Care Act requires.