New program provides no-cost COVID-19 testing for the uninsured

New program provides no-cost COVID-19 testing for the uninsured
A nurse takes a swab from a patient during a COVID-19 testing event (Source: Gage Cureton)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - A new program launched by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) will reimburse the cost of COVID-19 testing of people without insurance.

Medicaid providers will be reimbursed through the NC Medicaid Optional COVID-19 Testing program.

“North Carolina is making COVID-19 testing more available and affordable, and this program will help,” said Governor Roy Cooper.

Federal funding will be available to cover 100% of the direct costs of testing through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, including viral, serological or antibody tests. Medicaid-enrolled providers can file directly with NC Medicaid for reimbursement and costs can be recovered retroactively for up to three months.

“This new program allows community providers to offer cost-free testing to uninsured North Carolinians. It’s a good step to decrease barriers to testing,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD.

There are three eligibility requirements for no-cost COVID-19 testing:

  • North Carolina resident
  • Uninsured and not eligible for or enrolled in Medicaid
  • US citizen or legally resident as mandated by federal regulations

NCDHHS recommends testing for anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, as well as for any asymptomatic individual who believe they may have been exposed, especially people from historically marginalized communities.

Information about upcoming community testing events can be found on the Community Testing Events page of the NCDHHS COVID-19 website, and testing sites can be located via Find My Testing Place.

Copyright 2020 WECT. All rights reserved.