Report: Testing could cost New Yorkers millions, billions more in 2020

Local News

Science teachers Ann Darby, left, and Rosa Herrera check students for coronavirus symptoms before a summer STEM camp at Wylie High School in Wylie, Texas, July 14, 2020. (AP / LM Otero)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A new report indicates that coronavirus testing costs could approach $3 billion in New York in the second half of 2020.

The New York Health Plan Association and the New York State Conference of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans—trade associations for the health insurance companies—are urging Congress to give more funding to testing services. The study estimates that diagnostic tests, antibody tests, and other health services during tests may cost between $600 million and $2.9 billion.

Such expenses would be paid by roughly nine million insured New Yorkers, as federal law says such testing is not required to be covered under commercial health insurance, according to HPA and the Conference of Blues Plans. Were the costs legally required to be covered entirely by health plans, “the impact may be equivalent to between 2% and 9% of average current commercial health insurance premiums,” they say.

Because testing metrics are key to reopening the state’s economy while keeping New Yorkers as safe as possible, HPA and the Conference of Blues Plans want federal lawmakers to supply the resources necessary for widespread access to testing.

Testing scenarios did not consider costs for Medicaid, the Essential Plan, Child Health Plus, Medicare, uninsured populations, or people who live out-of-state but have coverage through a commercial health plan in New York.

Analysis in the report comes from actuarial and consulting firm Milliman. Take a look at the report below:

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