Important News and Updates on Coronavirus Testing

This week, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, effective March 18. This new law requires group health plans, regardless of grandfathered status, to waive cost-sharing (including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance), or prior authorization or other medical management requirements for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, as well as for in-person and telehealth services related to COVID-19 diagnostic testing. MagnaCare will process claims for services performed on or after March 18, 2020 in compliance with this new law.

The information about testing is changing daily. The CDC recommends individuals stay home and call ahead to their provider if they develop symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with widespread COVID-19 infection. For individuals with severe underlying medical conditions or those who are immunocompromised, CDC advises to seek care early, even if their illness is mild. If the symptoms are severe, individuals should seek care immediately. Individuals without severe illness should avoid the emergency room to limit inadvertent exposure to coronavirus.

We recognize that you may be having challenges reaching their regular provider or accessing testing for COVID-19. Many doctors can determine if testing is necessary through a virtual visit and direct you to the best location for specimen collection. Providers will then bill for both the visit and the lab test. As of today, BioReference Laboratories, LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics, our in-network labs, are receiving specimens from providers, but please note that they do not perform the specimen collection. MagnaCare will process claims for diagnostic testing and related services in compliance with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

If you are concerned about coronavirus can’t reach your doctor, your local department of health is a good source of up-to-date information about coronavirus in your community. Below is some guidance for New York and New Jersey.

If you live in New York State

  • According to the New York State Department of Health, testing is free to all eligible New Yorkers as ordered by a health care provider or by calling the NYS COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065.
  • New York is also in the process of establishing mobile testing locations. The locations in New Rochelle and Nassau County are open, and several others are expected in the coming weeks.
  • However, Governor Cuomo has stressed that residents cannot just show up at these locations. You must call 1-888-364-3065 to set up an appointment.

If you live in New Jersey…

  • The NJ Poison Control Center and 211 have partnered with the State of New Jersey to provide information to the public on COVID-19. For questions regarding COVID-19 and testing, New Jerseyans can:
    • Call: 2-1-1
    • Call (24/7): 1-800-962-1253
    • Text: NJCOVID to 898-211
    • Text: your zip code to 898-211 for live text assistance
  • Trained healthcare professionals are standing by to answer questions about coronavirus. The call is free.

I am staying in close contact with our teams and we are committed to keeping you updated every step of the way. The latest information about COVID-19 is available at CDC.gov/coronavirus.