In response to growing concerns about the rapid spread of coronavirus across the country, state governments have implemented a variety of policies designed to slow the spread of the virus and increase access to testing and treatment for those exposed to it. The Kaiser Family Foundation has compiled data about these policies and published it on a resource page available to the public. This resource also contains public health information for each state regarding disease prevalence and mortality, health care provider capacity, health care coverage, and coronavirus testing capacity.
This resource page highlights the options available to states as policymakers decide how to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Appropriately responding to the coronavirus outbreak will be critical, as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is highly contagious and particularly dangerous for people over the age of 60. The options available to state policymakers include:
- Declaring a state of emergency;
- Waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing;
- Waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment;
- Providing vaccination against COVID-19 for free, once a vaccine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration;
- Waiving prior authorization requirements for testing and treatment related to COVID-19;
- Allowing patients to refill their medications early to prevent them from running out during an emergency;
- Opening a special enrollment period for health insurance;
- Submitting a Section 1115 waiver to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to make adjustments to the state’s Medicaid program; and
- Providing paid sick leave for employees affected by COVID-19.
You can access this information here.