Federal funds for COVID-19 vaccines and testing run out Tuesday night at 11:59 p.m., leaving anyone without health insurance in a rush to find alternative resources.
There are alternative resources — places you can go to get that free COVID test, vaccine, or booster — but it can cost extra time and bureaucracy.
Funding problems are related to the COVID-19 Coverage Relief Fundwho has run out of money as the program draws to a close.
A few weeks ago, the money to cover testing and treatment demands dried up. Now the money to reimburse health care providers for administering these COVID shots and boosters is gone.
Getting a costly medical bill can be overwhelming, but negotiating with your doctor doesn’t have to be. Here are some easy ways to see if you can lower your medical bills, even if you don’t have insurance.
Any claims submitted after 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday evening will not be paid. This means that health care providers who are late in filing claims will not be reimbursed.
The impact on the uninsured ranges from letting them seek out a free clinic to paying out of pocket.
The information disseminated on the Health Resources and Services Administration website notes that the uninsured program will stop accepting claims “due to lack of sufficient funds.”
The message was released before lawmakers reached a $10 billion deal on Monday to cover the additional COVID preparedness the Biden administration is pushing for.
Local health care advocates, including St. Johns Community Health President and CEO Jim Mangia, have denounced the lack of funding.
“We have invested so much money and effort in the fight against COVID-19 so far,” Mangia said. “The idea of giving up at the eleventh hour – after more than two years of loss and grief – is ridiculous, irresponsible and inhumane.”