Should I be tested for COVID-19?

If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19, stay home and call your healthcare provider. Older patients and individuals who have severe underlying medical conditions or have reduced immune systems should contact their healthcare provider early, even if their illness is mild. Your doctor will determine if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and whether you should be tested. If you have severe symptoms, such as persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face, seek care immediately. (Source: CDC, 3/16/20)

Where can I get tested for the COVID-19 virus?

Ask the physician who orders your test. Additional test sites are in development with some retail stores and other medical facilities developing drive-through testing in parking lots to allow for testing outside the healthcare facility. Quest and LabCorp patient service centers currently do not collect specimens and request that you contact your healthcare provider for testing services and not go to a patient service center for testing. (Source: Quest Labs, 3/16/20)

How is the test performed?

If COVID-19 testing makes sense for you, your physician or a healthcare provider will collect your specimen (for example, nose or throat swab). Your respiratory specimens will then be sent to a lab for testing. Your doctor will contact you with your results.

How long does it take to get test results?

Ask your healthcare provider how long it will take to get your test results. Times may vary as new tests are in development by commercial labs that can provide results faster than currently available tests, which may take several days.

How much does the test for COVID-19 cost?

Medicare and many health insurers are waiving out-of-pocket co-pays and cost-shares of coronavirus (COVID-19) testing when prescribed by a physician in accordance with CDC guidelines. Self-insured health plan sponsors/employers cover testing at their discretion. Ask your employer or check with your medical carrier or health plan (call the phone number on the back of your member ID card) to confirm your coverage.

Can a person test negative and later test positive for COVID-19?

A negative result using the CDC-developed diagnostic test means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in the person’s sample. In the early stages of infection, it is possible the virus will not be detected. For COVID-19, a negative test result for a sample collected while a person has symptoms likely means that the COVID-19 virus is not causing their current illness. (Source: CDC, 3/16/20)

Please be advised that any and all information, comments, analysis, and/or recommendations set forth above relative to the possible impact of COVID-19 on potential insurance coverage or other policy implications are intended solely for informational purposes and should not be relied upon as legal advice. As an insurance broker, we have no authority to make coverage decisions as that ability rests solely with the issuing carrier. Therefore, all claims should be submitted to the carrier for evaluation. The positions expressed herein are opinions only and are not to be construed as any form of guarantee or warranty. Finally, given the extremely dynamic and rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, comments above do not take into account any applicable pending or future legislation introduced with the intent to override, alter or amend current policy language.

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