March 20, 2020
TRENTON – To ensure that individuals who are uninsured have access to testing for COVID-19, the Murphy Administration today required hospitals and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to waive patient fees for testing and related diagnostic services for those who lack health insurance.
In communication to the New Jersey Hospital Association and the New Jersey Primary Care Association, which includes 23 FQHCs with more than 120 satellite locations, New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said that the cost for testing and diagnosis should not be a barrier for any of New Jersey’s residents.
“Every single New Jerseyan with symptoms must have access to COVID-19 testing if we are going to end this crisis,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Waiving testing fees for the uninsured is a critical step in allowing us to prevent more New Jerseyans from being infected and to identify those who already have been infected so they can get the care they need.”
“In order to remove barriers to testing for COVID-19, the Department of Health is issuing guidance today to hospitals and FQHCS to provide testing for COVID-19 to any resident of New Jersey who is not currently insured and who is not eligible for Medicaid. The hospitals and the FQHCs should instead charge the State for these costs through existing Charity Care programs” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.
In the memo to the New Jersey Hospital Association, Commissioner Persichilli said hospitals will be able to submit claims for reimbursement to the charity care program, which provides subsidies to hospitals for care they provide to the uninsured. The FQHCs will be able to submit claims to the Uncompensated Care Fund.