✦ The annual estimated cost for COVID-19 diagnostic testing ranges from $6.0 billion to $25.1 billion, while the estimated cost for antibody testing ranges from $5.2 billion to $19.1 billion. That’s according to a new analysis from Wakely Consulting Group (prepared for America’s Health Insurance Plans), which separately updated its previous analysis estimating the cost of treating COVID-19 (see story, p. 1). The testing analysis examined potential costs associated with three types of COVID-19 tests: medically necessary ones used to treat or diagnose COVID-19; public health tests aimed at analyzing the prevalence of COVID-19 in the population on an ongoing basis; and occupational health tests meant to reduce employees’ risk of exposure to the coronavirus at their workplaces. Read more at https://bit.ly/2Yjwb1q.
✦ A new proposed rule from the Trump administration would let employers use health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) to reimburse employees who opt for direct primary care arrangements or health care sharing ministry memberships. The proposed rule, published in the Federal Register on June 10, would also designate any funds employees spend on those two type of health insurance alternatives as deductible medical expenses. Last summer, the administration released a final rule that allowed companies to use HRAs to reimburse employees for purchasing individual health insurance policies (HPW 7/1/19, p. 1). View the proposed rule at https://bit.ly/3dTKSPn.