Skip to Main Content
June 11, 2021

Health Law Weekly

Becerra Reminds Providers, Insurers Not to Charge for COVID-19 Vaccines and Tests

  • June 11, 2021

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra is reminding insurers and providers not to charge consumers for COVID-19 vaccinations and testing.

All providers currently administering COVID-19 vaccines must sign the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement, which requires them to administer COVID-19 vaccines at no out-of-pocket cost to patients, Becerra said in a letter to insurers and providers.

Under the agreement, providers also may not require patients to have additional medical services to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, Becerra noted.

Providers can seek reimbursement through Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers, who are statutorily required to cover COVID-19 vaccinations without cost sharing. For uninsured and underinsured patients, providers can seek reimbursement from other federal programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Group health plans and health insurers also must cover COVID-19 diagnostic testing without cost-sharing, Becerra said. Health plans and health insurers that fail to comply may face enforcement action from state insurance regulators or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.