Michigan: Gov. Whitmer announces no-cost COVID-19 testing/treatment for Medicaid enrollees & most privately insured residents

via David Eggert:

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan health insurers said Friday they will cover the cost of medically necessary tests for the new coronavirus for people covered under employer and individual health plans, while Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the waiving of testing and treatment fees for Medicaid recipients.

...Plans that will waive copays and deductibles for testing costs include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Care Network, Priority Health, CVS Health, McLaren and Meridian, according to the governor’s office. The change will not apply — for now — to large employers that self-insure but use insurance companies to administer their benefits.

...Blue Cross Blue Shield will forgo prior authorization rules for diagnostic tests and covered services to treat the disease, set aside refill limits on prescriptions, and expand access to telehealth and a 24-hour nurse hotline.

Whitmer said Medicaid, which covers more than 2.4 million lower-income residents, will waive copays and cost sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment.

..."I strongly encourage all health insurers in Michigan to follow suit to help protect public health and protect families’ pocketbooks," Whitmer said.

So far, New York, California and Washington State have all announced across-the-board executive orders or emergency regulations requiring all insurance carriers & publicly-financed healthcare plans to cover COVID-19 at no charge to enrollees. Florida's Insurance Dept. made a much weaker announcement, only directing insurers to "consider all practicable options" to keep costs down, which doesn't really mean much.

In Michigan's case, the carriers listed above should cover the vast majority of non-self-insured residents, and of course 25% of the state's population is covered by Medicaid, so they're set on coronavirus costs as well.

As noted in the article and in my post last night, however, the "self-insured employer plan" thing is still a major concern, along with those who are uninsured altogether.