Options available for uninsured after funding ends

Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 9:17 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 25, 2022 at 10:29 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Those without health insurance may have some difficulties very soon.

The Health Resources and Services Administration will soon stop accepting reimbursement claims for COVID-19 testing and vaccinations due to a lack of sufficient funds, according to the agency’s website.

Healthcare systems and pharmacies used the reimbursements to help treat those without insurance.

The HRSA COVID-19 uninsured program paid out more than $175 billion in reimbursements since the start of the pandemic.

Now, pharmacies and hospitals are left to give the bill for COVID treatment and testing to patients.

Mitchell Nail, Public Relations Manager for St. Bernards Healthcare System, said they not only used the funding to treat patients, but they also used their own funding to prepare when HRSA’s funding ended.

“We did free testing, in fact, the free testing that we did provide was not a result of funds from the federal government those were things that we source and funded ourselves,” he said.

Nail said the hospital offers free screenings and discount options for those who are uninsured.

According to the Biden Administration, the end of the funding will also result in no more monoclonal antibody treatment purchases and they could scale back how the treatment is given out.

The administration has requested Congress to approve more funding for HRSA’s program.

While the deadline to submit claims for reimbursement for testing and treatment was Tuesday, you can still submit reimbursement claims for vaccines until April 5.

For more information, you can visit the HRSA’s website.

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