The Families First Coronavirus Response Act authorized federal reimbursement for COVID-19 testing and testing related services for any uninsured individual.
Last week, the US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) announced the COVID-19 Uninsured Program Portal. The COVID-19 Uninsured Program will provide reimbursement at Medicare levels to providers and facilities for coronavirus-related testing and treatment of the uninsured. Funding for the program is provided primarily through appropriations to the Provider Relief Fund, as well as $1 billion from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The administration has not yet announced how much of the Provider Relief Funds will go towards the program.
To access the funds, health care providers must register to participate in the HRSA program. Once registered, those who have conducted COVID-19 testing or provided treatment to uninsured individuals on or after February 4, 2020 may request claim reimbursement through the portal beginning May 6, 2020.
Providers will be required to verify and attest that the patient does not have individual or employer-sponsored Medicare or Medicaid coverage, and that no other payer will reimburse them for COVID-19 testing and/or treatment for that patient.
Providers can expect to begin receiving reimbursement in mid-May.
AHCCCS had received federal approval and was working on a separate eligibility category to cover the cost of COVID testing for uninsured individuals in Arizona. With the announcement of the federal portal, and the added benefit of payment for treatment as well, AHCCCS is suspending that effort and directing providers to the HRSA portal. This will lessen any provider confusion for how to access payment for the coverage of COVID-19 testing and care for uninsured individuals, and help to prevent any potential fraud.