Last update: May 21, 2020, 3:50 p.m. CDT
Testing, coding and reimbursement protocols and guidelines are established based on guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and federal governments and other health agencies. We’re closely monitoring COVID-19-related updates from these partners and updating this site as quickly as possible when new information is available. Care providers should work with local and state health departments to coordinate testing.
Cost Share Covered for COVID-19 Antibody Testing
During the national public health emergency period, UnitedHealthcare will cover FDA-authorized COVID-19 antibody tests ordered by a physician or appropriately licensed health care professional without cost sharing (copayment, coinsurance or deductible). This coverage applies to members enrolled in Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and Individual and Group Market health plans. Benefits will be otherwise adjudicated in accordance with the member’s health plan.
An antibody test may determine if a person has been exposed to COVID-19, while a COVID-19 diagnostic test determines if a person is currently infected. FDA-authorized tests include tests approved for patient use through premarket approval or emergency use pathways, and tests that are developed and administered in accordance with FDA specifications or through state regulatory approval. According to the FDA, an antibody test should not be used to diagnose a current infection. Virus detection should be used to diagnose a current infection. UnitedHealthcare strongly supports the need for reliable testing and encourages health care providers to use reliable FDA-approved tests.
Test Registration Requested
UnitedHealthcare is requesting all physicians and health care professionals who perform and bill for COVID-19 antibody tests to register the test(s) that will be used for our members. This includes both hospital-affiliated and freestanding laboratories, as well as physician practices with in-house laboratories. The registration takes just a few minutes to complete. You will need to complete it for each specific test you offer. (For example, if you have two different tests that are offered to physicians/patients, you’ll need to complete the registration twice.) If you change the test(s) you use in the coming months, you’ll need to complete the survey again.
Please complete the COVID-19 Antibody Test Registration as soon as possible. To complete the test registration, you’ll need:
- The laboratory tax ID number (TIN)
- The type of antibody test rendered
In the coming weeks, UnitedHealthcare will use the registration information to assist providers in choosing tests that are FDA-authorized and to better understand the clinical reliability of the tests being used.
The national public health emergency, as renewed, will end on July 24, 2020. COVID-19 testing is rapidly evolving and UnitedHealthcare will continue to provide updates as they become available. Be sure to check back often for the latest information.
UnitedHealthcare will waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing for Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and Individual and Group Market health plans from March 18, 2020 through the national public health emergency period. We’re also waiving cost sharing for COVID-19 testing-related visits during this same time, whether the testing-related visit is received in a health care provider’s office, an urgent care center, an emergency department or through a telehealth visit. And, we’re waiving cost sharing for the treatment of COVID-19 until May 31, 2020 for Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and Individual and Group Market fully insured health plans. Review the information on this site for additional details.
COVID-19 Testing-Related Telehealth Visits
From Feb.4, 2020 and throughout the national public health emergency period, we will waive member cost sharing for in-network and out-of-network COVID-19 testing-related telehealth visits, including both interactive audio-video and audio-only. Learn more.
We are committed to business continuity and being there to assist you. All self-service capabilities are available, our call center is staffed and claims are being processed so you have the support you need.
Testing and Cost Share
Treatment and Cost Share
Claim Coding, Submissions and Reimbursement
We’re committed to keeping you up to date on COVID-19 – we’re monitoring your inquiries and working hard to answer your questions. Let us know how we’re doing.
We’ll be making daily updates to this site. Be sure to check back often for the latest information.
The benefits and processes described on this website apply pursuant to federal requirements and UnitedHealthcare national policy during the national emergency. Additional benefits or limitations may apply in some states and under some plans during this time.
We will adjudicate benefits in accordance with the member’s health plan.
Medicaid Providers: UnitedHealthcare will reimburse out-of-network providers for COVID-19 testing-related visits and COVID-19 related treatment or services according to the rates outlined in the Medicaid Fee Schedule.