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Schatz, Senators Introduce Bill To Ensure Free Coronavirus Testing

Legislation Would Provide Free Diagnostic Testing and Related Health Care Services for Americans Receiving Tests to Confirm Coronavirus Infection

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Brian Schatz, Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and a number of their Democratic Senate colleagues introduced the Free COVID-19 Testing Act, legislation that would ensure free tests to confirm coronavirus (COVID-19) infections.

“Testing should be free and available for everyone who needs it. We can’t stop this outbreak if we don’t know how it’s spreading,” said Senator Schatz.

The Free COVID-19 Testing Act would waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and related health care services for individuals enrolled in private health plans, Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, CHIP, TRICARE, VA as well as for federal civilians, American Indians and Alaska Natives. Private insurers would be barred from imposing limits like prior authorization for testing. For uninsured individuals, this legislation would cover the cost of lab fees, and states would have the option and new incentives to cover COVID-19 diagnostic testing and related health care services through their Medicaid programs.

In addition to Sens. Schatz, Smith, Peters, Schumer, Murray, and Wyden, this legislation is also supported by U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawai‘i), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Angus King (I-Maine), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.).