Photo: Kena Betancur/Getty Images

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 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 33,976,447 — Total deaths: 1,014,266 — Total recoveries: 23,644,023Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 7,233,945 — Total deaths: 206,959 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.
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Trump signs stopgap bill to prevent government shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and President Trump arrives at the U.S. Capitol in March. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump signed a bill to extend current levels of government funding after funding expired briefly, White House spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed early Thursday.

Why it matters: The move averts a government shutdown before the Nov. 3 election. The Senate on Wednesday passed the legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

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In photos: Deadly wildfires devastate California's wine country

The Shady Fire ravages a home as it approaches Santa Rosa in Napa County, California, on Sept. 28. The blaze is part of the massive Glass Fire Complex, which has razed over 51,620 acres at 2% containment. Photo: Samuel Corum/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images

More than 1,700 firefighters are battling 26 major wildfires across California, including in the heart of the wine country, where one mega-blaze claimed the lives of three people and forced thousands of others to evacuate this week.

The big picture: More than 8,100 wildfires have burned across a record 3.9 million-plus acres, killing 29 people and razing almost 7,900 structures in California this year, per Cal Fire. Just like the deadly blazes of 2017, the wine country has become a wildfires epicenter. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta counties.