COVID-19 testing remains an integral tool in combatting the pandemic. Easing of restrictions and emergence of variants have resulted another surge in COVID-19 cases.
Determining when it is safe for social activity, travel, and in-person work can be difficult for employers and individuals both. COVID-19 testing continues to be essential in making informed decisions.
Since the early phases of the pandemic, COVID-19 testing has evolved significantly, including the availability and number of at-home test kits offered on the market and the providers conducting tests in their clinics. Unfortunately, some providers and labs are using the public health emergency as an opportunity to impose extraordinarily high charges, which are contributing to downstream financial impacts.
Federal and state laws ensure that consumers have access to COVID-19 testing without cost, so they are often unaware what is being billed for the service.
Blue Shield of California believes that COVID-19 testing should be readily available to our members without financial burden, but also that there is a shared financial responsibility to ensure long term health care affordability. We are engaging our members, group plan sponsors, brokers and consultants, and providers to encourage the use of cost-effective COVID-19 testing protocols. This includes prioritizing the use of lower-cost over-the-counter, at-home test kits for screening over PCR tests, and seeking in-network providers and labs when PCR tests are deemed appropriate.
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