WASHINGTON — Uninsured Americans will be able to seek coronavirus treatment for free, with the federal government agreeing to cover hospitals’ expenses, President Trump announced Friday.
The provision will be covered by a $100 billion fund for healthcare providers that was part of a historic enormous $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package passed by Congress last month.
“Today I can so proudly announce that hospitals and health care providers treating uninsured coronavirus patients will be reimbursed by the federal government using the economic relief package Congress passed last month,” Trump said at the White House coronavirus briefing.
“That should alleviate any concern that uninsured Americans may have about seeking the coronavirus treatment,” he added, saying the order was “very much in favor of our great people.”
Some of the nation’s largest insurers, including Signa and Blue Cross-Blue Shield, have also announced they will waive all co-pays for coronavirus treatment for the next 60 days.
“That is a big statement and we appreciate that,” the president said.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said providers would forbidden from charging uninsured patients for treatment for COVID-19, with the federal government reimbursing them.
“As a condition of receiving funds under this program, providers will be forbidden from balance billing the uninsured for the cost of their care. Providers will be reimbursed at Medicare rates,” he said.
The policy comes after reports that at least one uninsured teen died from COVID-19 after being turned away by a Los Angeles hospital and concerns vulnerable Americans would not be able to seek treatment.
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