Swabbing and testing all Americans for COVID-19 each year could become a normal routine. That, combined with antibody testing, have caused rates for COVID testing to skyrocket; they could cost a whopping $44 billion per year, according to a recent study. Diagnostic testing alone ranges from $6 – $25 billion each year; while it is about $5 – $19 billion for antibody testing. These tests are not required together, so it is not possible to get an accurate cost yet, but experts are finding that if a majority of people underwent both tests, the rates for COVID testing would be high.
Rates for COVID Skyrocket
COVID-19 has brought diagnostic testing to the forefront as the United States attempts to re-open the economy and get students back to school in the fall. As more research is done to improve testing and create a vaccine, rates for COVID testing materials have skyrocketed. However, it is uncertain where the money will come from to fund these costly tests, and some members of Congress, as well as state lawmakers, are hoping the health insurance industry will be able to handle the price tag. Health insurers insist the cost should be distributed among many people and organizations, not solely on them. The prices do not only reflect the cost of the testing but also that of what it would take to administer the tests (provider or urgent care visit). The study of the rates for COVID testing does not distinguish between that of medical necessity and occupational purposes. AHIP insists that the federal government needs to determine who plays a part and exactly what their role is in funding the COVID testing. Testing has been advertised all over the media for a few months now, to diagnose or treat those who already have the disease. But new tests are being designed to test antibodies to know who has the disease in hopes of keeping it from spreading further. New York has already begun this process and they are looking to determine if COVID patients have built up immunity to it since their recovery. The actual costs of the coronavirus tests are hard to determine because it depends on who is administering the test and whether or not they have the supplies and materials on hand. One recent study found that the cost would depend on which line of health insurance covered the bill. Both tests range in price from $30 to $70 for Medicare or Medicaid patients, and an estimated 25% more for commercial testing.
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