New York mandates insurers waive cost sharing for coronavirus testing

New York City skyline
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's directive comes as two New Yorkers have tested positive for coronavirus, including one in New York City. (Sean Pavone/Shutterstock)

New York health officials have issued a directive mandating insurers waive cost sharing for coronavirus testing.

The order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office requires that health plans nix costs for emergency department, urgent care or doctor's office visits. Medicaid enrollees will also not face a copayment for testing related to the virus, called COVID-19. The requirement does not extend to self-funded employer plans, which are not regulated by the state.

"We have the best healthcare system in the world, and we are leveraging that system including our state-of-the-art Wadsworth testing lab to help contain any potential spread of the novel coronavirus in New York," Cuomo said in a statement.

"Containing this virus depends on us having the facts about who has it—and these measures will break down any barriers that could prevent New Yorkers from getting tested," he said.

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Cuomo's office also signed a $40 million emergency response package as a second New Yorker was confirmed to have the virus.

The news comes as some warn that cost concerns could prevent people from seeking testing or care if they have symptoms of the virus. A Miami man hospitalized with such symptoms faced a $3,200 bill, with $1,400 in out-of-pocket costs, Business Insider reported.

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