Questions remain about cost of COVID-19 testing

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Questions remain about cost of COVID-19 testing

Questions remain about cost of COVID-19 testing

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As workers slowly head back to work, NEWS10 ABC has been asking the question: Are insurance companies responsible for paying for weekly COVID-19 testing?

Mary Martin is the owner of Martin Day Spa in Saratoga Springs. As a hairstylist, she is required by the state to get tested for the coronavirus every two weeks. After going back and forth with her insurance company, Martin finally went to go get tested.

“I need to get tested, so I can open up my salon again,” said Martin.

Martin said she would do anything to go back to work even if it’s going to cost her.  

“I have been out of work for four months now. If I have to pay for these tests, it could be $100 to even $200 dollars a month. It could even be more,” explained Martin.

NEWS10 contacted three different local health insurance companies and asked them who is paying for employees’ weekly COVID-19 tests.

A CDPHP representative said testing employees to go back to work falls under occupational not medical. CDPHP said a worker or their employer will be responsible for their bill. However, if a doctor orders them to get tested because they are showing COVID-19 symptoms, it will be covered.

BlueShield of Northeastern New York said any testing done without a doctor’s prescription, and that does not meet the NYS Department of Health guidelines, is not covered.

MVP Health Care told NEWS10 to contact the New York Health Plan Association. Senior Vice President Leslie Moran of the NY Health Plan Association told NEWS10 that this type of back to work and ongoing surveillance testing is not covered by insurers.

Martin said it’s not fair that she and her employees have to pay out of pocket for the tests to stay open. 

“If it’s mandated by the state, we desperately need help,” said Martin. 

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