On January 15, 2022, health insurers will be subject to new federal requirements to cover and waive cost-sharing for over-the-counter diagnostic tests for COVID-19 for the duration of the federal public health emergency. Past federal guidance required insurers to fully cover COVID-19 tests, but allowed them to require enrollees to first obtain a health professional’s determination that a test is medically necessary. The new requirements, published January 10, enable consumers to obtain the tests directly from pharmacies or online retailers without being seen by a health professional. With case rates surging and the costs of over-the-counter COVID-19 tests ranging from $14 to $34, this new benefit should provide significant financial relief to privately insured individuals. This expert perspective focuses on key provisions of the new coverage requirements as well as health equity considerations and implications for state insurance regulators.
Consumer Assistance Resource Guide: Household Composition Eligibility Rules
Manatt Health Solutions
Early evidence from across the nation suggests that consumer assisters are playing a vital role in helping people enroll in the new coverage options made possible by the Affordable Care Act. The following resource guide on Household Composition Eligibility Rules is part of a Consumer Assistance Resource Guide series developed to help consumer assisters answer some of the most common eligibility and enrollment questions.
To be eligible for Medicaid, CHIP or Advance Premium Tax Credits and Cost Sharing Reductions, an applicant’s total household income must be below a certain level for the number of people in his or her household. This guide, prepared by Manatt Heath Solutions, explains how to determine who is included in an applicant’s household and covers special Medicaid household composition rules for households that include a pregnant woman; grandparents; unmarried, divorced, separated or non-custodial parents; or institutionalized or incarcerated family members. Additionally, the guide explains how eligibility is re-determined when an applicant’s household size changes during the year.