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Both health insurers and regulators are working to make sure that coronavirus diagnostic tests will be covered — but that doesn't necessarily mean coronavirus treatment will be affordable.

Driving the news: California, New York and Washington state have announced that health plans are required to cover the diagnostic tests and the associated provider visit, without cost sharing.

  • Many health plans — including members of America's Health Insurance Plans are voluntarily saying that the tests will be covered. Cigna announced specifically that it will waive all cost sharing.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services emailed Medicare beneficiaries yesterday saying that the tests are covered. Lab tests generally don't have cost sharing under Medicare.

Yes, but: State insurance commissioners don't have the authority to regulate self-insured plans, which cover 61% of workers with employer-provided health benefits, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

  • And, as WSJ points out, the state actions "focus on diagnosis, not treatment of COVID-19. ... Older people and those with underlying health conditions have in some cases needed extensive, and costly, hospital care."

And while state regulators are addressing the provider visit associated with testing, insurers themselves generally aren't.

  • "We will cover needed diagnostic testing when ordered by a physician. We will take action to ease network, referral, and prior authorization requirements and/or waive patient cost sharing," AHIP said in a statement by its board of directors.
  • But the related provider visits and other services "would be covered in accordance with a person’s policy," an AHIP spokesperson said.

Go deeper: Coronavirus test kit affordability could hurt U.S. containment efforts

Go deeper

Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 11,863,477 — Total deaths: 544,949 — Total recoveries — 6,483,402Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 2,996,679 — Total deaths: 131,486 — Total recoveries: 936,476 — Total tested: 36,878,106Map.
  3. Public health: Deaths are rising in hotspots — Déjà vu sets in as testing issues rise and PPE dwindles.
  4. Travel: How the pandemic changed mobility habits, by state.
  5. Education: Harvard and MIT sue Trump administration over rule barring foreign students from online classes.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: A misinformation "infodemic" is here.
Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Harvard and MIT sue Trump administration over rule barring foreign students from online classes

A Harvard Law School graduate on campus before attending an online graduation ceremony on May 28. Photo: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Harvard and MIT on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to block federal guidance that would largely bar foreign college students from taking classes if their universities move classes entirely online in the fall.

The big picture: Colleges, which often rely heavily on tuition from international students, face a unique challenge to safely get students back to class during the coronavirus pandemic. Some elite institutions, like Harvard, have already made the decision to go virtual.

Facebook auditors say it's failing on civil rights

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The findings from a new civil rights audit commissioned and released by Facebook show that the tech giant repeatedly failed to address issues of hatred, bigotry and manipulation on its platform.

Why it matters: The report comes as Facebook confronts a growing advertiser boycott and criticism for prioritizing freedom of speech over limiting misinformation and protecting users targeted by hate speech.