Washington state has been one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus in the early stages of its outbreak across the United States. With 10 dead already, the state’s insurance commissioner issued an emergency order directing health insurance carriers with state-regulated plans to provide health care provider visits and coronavirus testing without copayments and deductible payments through May 4, 2020.
This move is clearly designed to help put the brakes on the spread of this pandemic by making sure no one neglects to get tested for the virus because they are worried about being able to afford the medical bills. This new order ensures that anyone who qualifies for testing, which in this case means people who are displaying symptoms of a coronavirus infection, will be able to go to the doctor and receive a proper test, at no cost to them.
It is worth pointing out that the order from the insurance commissioner only pertains to those with health insurance. That’s why Governor Jay Inslee announced that the state will also help pay for coronavirus tests for people who don’t have health insurance.
“I am announcing that we have the authority and intention to cover those costs by the state of Washington,” said Inslee. “If you think you’re experiencing mild symptoms, a positive or negative test result does not change the advice we have for you…Stay home, rest, take care of yourself, avoid contact with others and follow your physician’s or medical provider’s advice.”
Making sure people who need to get tested, can get tested is imperative. However, the best way to stop the spread of the virus is for regular citizens to take the time to protect themselves by avoiding close social interactions, keeping their immune systems health and washing their hands on a regular basis.
At this point Washington State has over 70 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and that number is only expected to go up. This push to make sure anyone who should get tested, can get tested is incredibly important. Hopefully it’s not too little too late.