Beginning Saturday, new federal guidelines would require personal insurers to cowl the at-home coronavirus checks that Individuals purchase in pharmacies and different shops. The brand new system might, in principle, permit tens of millions of individuals to choose up checks at hundreds of places with out spending any cash.
The fact, at the least within the quick time period, is prone to be messier: Some insurers say it’s going to most likely take weeks to totally arrange the system the White Home envisions.
The brand new course of shall be onerous, the insurers say, as a result of over-the-counter coronavirus checks are completely different from the physician’s visits and hospital stays they usually cowl.
The checks don’t at the moment have the kind of billing codes that insurers use to course of claims. Well being plans not often course of retail receipts; as a substitute they’ve constructed techniques for digital claims with preset codecs and long-established billing codes.
Due to this, some insurers plan to handle the fast check claims manually initially.
“That is taking issues again to the olden days, the place you’ll have an individual throwing all these paper slips in a shoe field, and finally stuffing it into an envelope and sending it off to a well being insurer to decipher,” stated Ceci Connolly, the chief government of the Alliance of Group Well being Plans, which represents smaller, nonprofit insurers.