Wikimedia Commons | Gage Skidmore

California Orders Insurance Companies To Cover Coronavirus Testing Costs

Millions of Californians will now have their coronavirus tests covered by their insurance companies, thanks to a new state-wide order from Governor Gavin Newsom.

As the Los Angeles Times reported, Newsom and state Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara announced on Thursday that all public and commercial insurance plans are now required to cover the cost of coronavirus testing and any medically necessary screenings.

Per the order, Californians won't be expected to pay out-of-pocket if they receive testing and screenings at hospital emergency rooms and urgent care facilities.

“This action means that Californians who fit the testing requirements can receive the test at no cost," Newsom explained in a statement. "We’re all in this together, and I’m grateful to those health providers who have already stepped up and heeded our call."

He added, "Californians shouldn't have to fear a big medical bill just because they took a test for COVID-19."

This order means around 24 million residents of California will be eligible for free coronavirus testing.

However, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency Dr. Mark Ghaly urged anyone with symptoms, or who may have encountered someone with the virus, to contact their health care provider or local public health official first before seeking medical attention.

“This doesn’t mean every Californian should be seeking a test,” he cautioned.

On Wednesday, California declared a state of emergency after confirming 61 cases of coronavirus.

As Business Insider reported, Newsom made the declaration in order to receive emergency federal funding to battle the disease.

"The State of California is deploying every level of government to help identify cases and slow the spread of this coronavirus," he said. "This emergency proclamation will help the state further prepare our communities and our health care system in the event it spreads more broadly."

h/t: Los Angeles Times