Insurers Push Again for Action on High COVID Test Prices

Just one day after the Biden administration extended the public health emergency (PHE) through mid-October, AHIP published a report arguing that price-gouging on COVID-19 tests continues to be a problem. Crucially, that issue was created when pandemic relief legislation removed health insurers’ ability to hold down out-of-network charges for COVID tests, the trade group says.

Health policy experts who have studied COVID test prices and pandemic relief legislation say that AHIP’s findings are not at all off base. However, there may be little chance of addressing insurers’ concerns anytime soon.

“The laws, as Congress enacted, very clearly encourage price gouging on COVID tests, so it’s no surprise that it continues,” says Loren Adler, associate director of the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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