Pennsylvanians without insurance can now get COVID-19 test free of charge

Regional News

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, U.S. health regulators OK’d the first coronavirus test that allows people to collect their own sample at home, a new approach that could help expand testing options in most states. The sample will still have to be shipped for processing back to LabCorp, which operates diagnostic labs throughout the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Pennsylvanians who don’t have health insurance can be tested for the novel coronavirus free of charge, addressing a concern identified by the Pennsylvania COVID-19 Response Task Force on Health Disparity chaired by Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.

Governor Tom Wolf announced Monday that federal stimulus funding will be used to reimburse providers who test uninsured patients, so those patients can be tested for free.

Access to testing for uninsured Pennsylvanians was a top concern identified by the task force formed by the governor to address inequality, including lesser access to care among minority groups.

“People who don’t have insurance could be less likely to be tested because they know they’re going to face a bill,” Fetterman said. “Nothing should stand in the way of access to testing for any Pennsylvanian, and this allocation removes any obstacles for both uninsured patients and healthcare providers.”

Task Force member Steve McFarland, a Philadelphia native and the Eastern Regional Director for Fetterman’s office, said slowing the spread of the virus relies on increased testing in all populations.

In addition to increased testing in minority communities, the task force is emphasizing the need for data collection. Statewide health systems must follow the mandate from Secretary Levine (and later reinforced by Governor Wolf, to report racial demographics for all tests and COVID-related deaths.

The Department of Health’s testing-site locator map can be found here.

For those who do test positive, Pennsylvania’s Federally Qualified Health Centers are providing care for free and/or on a sliding scale. To find a Pennsylvania Community Health Center, click here.

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