Daines Urges Action to Ease Financial Burden of Coronavirus
US Senator Steve Daines urged US Department of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to lift financial barriers for coronavirus testing in Montana and nationwide. In a letter to Mnuchin, Daines called for action to issue guidance that “COVID-19 testing be considered preventive care” under IRS Code, easing the financial burden on Montanans with high deductible health plans (HDHPs) and health savings accounts. Doing so would ensure that Montanans with HDHPs would not pay high out-of-pocket costs if tested for the novel coronavirus.
Daines’ letter to Mnuchin was part of a series of proposals that he introduced to address the potential financial impact of the coronavirus on Montanans.
Four major health insurance companies operating in Montana are voluntarily waiving customer costs for coronavirus testing. While each company is taking its own specific steps, Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale noted they're all responding before Montana has a case of coronavirus and without a government mandate.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana along with PacificSource Health Plans are waiving the fees in their policies and are consulting with their self-funded employer groups to see if they wish to do the same. The Montana Health Co-op and Allegiance Life & Health Insurance are waiving all out-of-pocket costs for prescribed testing.