Administration says it will reimburse hospitals for treating uninsured coronavirus patients
The Trump administration announced Friday that the federal government will reimburse hospitals treating uninsured patients for the novel coronavirus using funds allocated in the recent relief package passed by Congress.
“Today, I can so proudly announce that hospitals and health care providers treating uninsured coronavirus patients will be reimbursed by the federal government using funds from the economic relief packed Congress passed last month,” President Trump said at a White House briefing.
“This should alleviate any concerns uninsured Americans may have seeking the coronavirus treatment,” he added.
The announcement came after the administration said it would not reopen ObamaCare enrollment in order for uninsured Americans to purchase health care on federally run exchanges. After being pressed on the decision, Trump indicated Thursday that he was considering a plan to cover costs of medical care for uninsured Americans.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Friday that the administration would use a portion of the $100 billion allocated for health care providers in the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, which Congress passed and Trump signed last week, to cover the costs.
“We will use a portion of that funding to cover providers costs of delivering COVID-19 care for the uninsured,” Azar said, noting that the department would soon release more specific information about how the rest of the money would be spent.
Azar said the funds would be sent to providers through the same mechanism used for testing. He also said that providers would be forbidden from balance billing the uninsured as a condition for receiving the reimbursements and would be reimbursed at Medicare rates.