Under federal law, insurance companies must cover the cost of COVID tests ordered by a health care provider. But workplace testing is exempt
TAMPA, Florida – In order to comply with Florida’s vaccination mandate rules, many employers are considering an option for workers to submit weekly Covid test results, the expense of which can add up quickly.
So who foots the bill?
Health experts say this is going to be a problem.
Under federal law, insurance companies must cover the cost of Covid tests ordered by a medical provider.
But workplace testing is exempt.
“You know, this is one of those crazy situations where we have a lot of people who are going to have to take a test to get back to work,” said Sabrina Corlette of the Center on Health Insurance Reforms. “But there is no requirement that their employer plan pay for it.”
Corlette says right now it’s up to the employer to decide who pays, which means it could be the employee.
And at $ 50- $ 100 per test? – it can add up quickly.
“It tries to force people’s hands. Isn’t it?” USF Health’s Dr Jill Roberts said. “What you want to do is make it so expensive not to get vaccinated that people will have to get vaccinated. We’ve reached this point.”
“You know, I think the point of getting tested every week, which probably isn’t as effective as getting the vaccine, is to make it uncomfortable,” added Dr. Michael Feng of USF Health.
There is also a question about the medical benefit of weekly testing. Some research suggests it must be more often than that.
“In order to have and be effective in reducing the transmission of Covid as well as the vaccine, you will need to get tested every three days,” said Dr Juan Dumois, doctor at the Johns All Children Hospital. Hopkins.
“But they’re going to pick up some positives,” Dr Roberts said. “It will eliminate some cases and take some people away from it.”
Most counties still have sites open where you can get a free Covid test. It’s cheaper, but maybe not as convenient as your local drugstore.
Results can also take up to 48 hours.