Penn State offers first-dollar coverage for COVID-19 testing

March 24, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Last week, President Donald Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Under the law, group health plans — including self-insured group health plans, like Penn State’s — are required to provide first-dollar coverage for COVID-19 testing and related medical office, urgent care and emergency room costs, effective immediately. This relieves Penn State employees and families of any out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance.

What does this law mean to you?

  • Group health plans (including self-insured plans) and health insurance issuers offering individual and group coverage are required to cover COVID-19 testing without imposing cost-sharing on the patient. The law does not include treatment for COVID-19, only testing. Treatment for COVID-19 will fall under normal health plan cost-sharing provisions. Prior authorization and medical management practices may not be applied. Questions regarding coverage and claims should be directed to Aetna at 1-855-878-4197.
  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act applies to costs associated with the diagnostic product, administration of the diagnostic product, and items and services furnished during office visits (including telehealth visits), urgent care center visits, and emergency room visits that would result in an order for COVID-19 testing or administration of the test, to the extent those items and services relate to the testing.  

If you experience coronavirus symptoms, contact your health care professional directly. Should your physician order a COVID-19 test, be sure to take your Aetna insurance card with you.

Penn State Health also has announced it is now offering free virtual screenings for COVID-19 through its telehealth service, Penn State Health OnDemand. Anyone with concerns that they may have COVID-19 may use Penn State Health OnDemand to interact directly with a provider who can evaluate their symptoms and make care recommendations. Aetna also offers Teladoc, a service provided that is accessible from home. Teladoc allows you to speak to a licensed doctor by phone or video in minutes. You can access more information on both services being offered to our employees, via the HR COVID-19 web page.

Questions regarding coverage for COVID-19 tests under the Penn State health care plans should be directed to Aetna at 1-855-878-4197.

Last Updated March 24, 2020