Washington State Insurance Commissioner Extends COVID-19 Testing and Surprise Billing Emergency Orders to May 28

Mike Kreidler, Washington State’s Insurance Commissioner, has extended two emergency orders related to COVID-19 testing. The first order states that health insurers must waive copays and deductibles for any individual requiring COVID-19 testing. The second order protects those who require testing from any unexpected bills related to lab fees associated with COVID-19 diagnostic testing. Both orders have been extended to May 28. 

According to a press release from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, the “order waiving cost-sharing applies to all state-regulated health insurance plans and short-term, limited-duration medical plans.” If your medical provider deems a COVID-19 test necessary, there will be no copay or deductible required for the test and the associated visit (even if the provider is outside the insurer’s network).  

These orders can be extended for 30 days at a time while the Governor’s emergency proclamations stay in effect, per the order of the Insurance Commissioner, with the goal of ensuring access to health care. 

COVID-19 vaccination remains free of charge, regardless of whether you are insured or not. Free at-home test kits are available through Washington State and through the federal government. Proof of insurance is not required to use these resources. 

For more information related to COVID-19 and health insurance, click here. If you receive a bill related to COVID-19 testing or you’re unsure about coverage, reach out to the Insurance Commissioner for additional guidance here.  

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