By Jessica Mathews /

A number of health insurers in Michigan have extended agreements to provide free coronavirus testing and vaccine to patients.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) announced that the state has secured agreements from nearly all of the state’s health insurers to extend their commitments to waive all out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing, vaccinations and treatments. The agreements are said to cover more than 92% of the commercial health insurance market in Michigan.

As an extension of previous agreements, consumers with individual and group health plans through different providers will not be charged cost-sharing, including copays, deductibles, and co-insurance for medically appropriate COVID-19-related medical treatment such as primary care visits, diagnostic testing, emergency room visits, ambulance services and approved medications and vaccines.

Federal law requires health insurers to provide no-cost coverage for COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, though not necessarily for COVID-19 treatment, during the federal public health emergency, which is currently set to expire on April 21st. Consumers with Medicaid or Medicare may also receive a no-cost COVID-19 test, vaccination, and related services provided by a health care provider.

Insurers who have agreed to waive cost-sharing include:
-Aetna (expires February 28, 2021)
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Care Network (expires March 31, 2021)
- HAP, Alliance Health (expires March 31, 2021)
- McLaren Health Plan (expires March 31, 2021)
- Meridian Health Plan (expires April 21)
- Molina Healthcare Michigan (expires March 31, 2021)
- Oscar (expires March 31, 2021)
- Physicians Health Plan (PHP) (expires June 30, 2021)
- Priority Health (expires March 31, 2021)

DIFS is available to help consumers with health insurance questions and complaints. It can also provide information about the upcoming Health Insurance Marketplace Special Enrollment Period that will be open from February 15th through May 15th. DIFS can be reached Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm at 877-999-6442. A link to the DIFS website is provided.

Photo - AP/Jean-Francois Badias