Pennsylvania Human Services Reminds Pennsylvanians, Providers that Medicaid, CHIP Cover COVID-19 Testing, Vaccine, and Treatment Costs 

COVID testImage by Fernando Zhiminaicela

PENNSYLVANIA — Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh is reminding Pennsylvanians who receive health care coverage through Medicaid (called Medical Assistance or MA in Pennsylvania) or CHIP, as well as the health care professionals who work with them, that the cost of COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatment are covered by the programs. 

“As fall arrives, we have seen an uptick in cases of COVID-19. Some of the best ways to prevent COVID and to keep those around you safe is to stay up to date on vaccines and to get tested if you’re not feeling well,” said Secretary Arkoosh. “Pennsylvanians who get their health coverage through the state do not have to pay for these vaccines, tests, or treatments. As we’re heading into cooler weather and gathering indoors more often, I encourage everyone who can to get vaccinated and to have COVID tests on hand to help prevent the spread of illness.”

Medicaid, including the Medicaid managed care organizations, is required to provide coverage for COVID-19 vaccines, vaccine administration, testing, treatment, and stand-alone vaccine counseling for beneficiaries under 21 without cost sharing, at least through September 30, 2024. This includes new booster shots as they are approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, Medicaid must cover all types of FDA-approved COVID-19 diagnostic and screening tests, including those done at testing sites, at home tests that are sent to a laboratory for processing, and at-home tests that do not require a laboratory.

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CHIP contracted managed care organizations must ensure continued coverage without cost sharing for all FDA-approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines, vaccine administration, screening and testing, treatment, and stand-alone vaccine counseling. Stand-alone vaccine counseling occurs when a patient or caregiver receives vaccine information from a provider, but a vaccine is not administered in the same visit.

In addition to free testing available through Medicaid, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced that beginning September 25, 2023, all U.S. households can order four free at-home tests to be delivered to them.

More information on Medicaid and CHIP, including applying for these and other benefits, is available on the DHS website.

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