People who believe they may have coronavirus can get tested for the COVID-19 disease with no out-of-pocket cost, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Thursday.
The California Department of Insurance and the Department of Managed Care say 24 million Californians will be eligible for free testing. It means people covered by either private insurance or Medi-Cal plans won’t have to pay for the screening or associated costs like lab work.
“Californians shouldn’t have to fear a big medical bill just because they took a test for COVID-19,” Newsom said in a statement.
Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, urged people with symptoms, or those who may have encountered someone with the illness, to call their health care provider or local public health official before seeking medical care.
“This doesn’t mean every Californian should be seeking a test,” he said.
The announcement comes a day after Newsom declared a state of emergency in an effort to contain the virus.