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.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Plan Choice Challenge: Winning Tools and Considerations for States
The State Health Reform Assistance Network and the National Academy for State Health Policy
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Plan Choice Challenge” was a recent competition facilitated by Health 2.0 to spur the development of innovative technology applications that better support consumers as they shop for and purchase health insurance. The State Network and the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) recently hosted a webinar featuring background on the challenge from Health 2.0, an overview of the winning apps, and insights on what states should consider as they explore plan selection tools. States had a chance to ask questions of the vendors who developed the winning applications—Consumers’ CHECKBOOK (first place), Stride Health (second place) and Clear Health Analytics (third place).
For a quick overview of the winning vendors’ apps, please see their informational videos below:
The webinar slides can be found at the “download” button, and the recording can be found here.