In a major initiative towards keeping the deadly virus under control, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will spend $4.8 billion for testing uninsured individuals for COVID-19.
As per the official press release issued by the department, the HHS has decided to allocate the funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to support the HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program.
According to details, this funding will enable healthcare providers to get properly reimbursed for testing uninsured individuals for COVID-19. As of May 19, 2021, the program has issued approximately $4 billion to ensure testing reimbursements to medical practitioners.
It’s worth mentioning here that the program reimburses medical care at national Medicare rates for delivering COVID-19 treatment. And vaccinating the individuals who aren’t insured yet.
It has been estimated that there are still 29 million uninsured individuals living in the United States. So, the basic purpose of the HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program is to remove cost impediments. And assure the appropriate testing and care for those who are exposed to this lethal virus.
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra in an official statement said that: “As we vaccinate the country, let’s continue taking the preventive measures necessary to keep the virus under control and prevent it from spreading. Testing remains critical and now it’s available at no cost to those who need it.”
In addition to this, he made it clear that this funding will make sure that every individual has access to testing regardless of whether they have health insurance.
Moreover, the allocated funds will be shifted into the Health Resources and Service Administration’s COVID-19 Uninsured Program. In his way, healthcare providers will be able to bill the program for any COVID-19 tests given to uninsured people.
Furthermore, HHS has recently awarded $125 million in workforce grants for community-based efforts to strengthen COVID-19 vaccinations in underserved communities.
Award recipients will collaborate with regional and local partners to achieve the goal of maximum vaccinations in a minimal time period. Additionally, they will be responsible to answer individual questions, help make vaccine appointments, assist with transportation and other needs.