Testing for the coronavirus in New York could cost private insurance companies between $600 million and $2.9 billion in the second half of 2020, an insurance industry report released Monday found.
The study, released by the New York Health Plan Association and State Conference of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, reviewed the cost of the tests for those with private insurance.
The study comes as Congress is considering an additional coronavirus stimulus package which could inject more funding for testing.
An initial stimulus measure included $1.5 billion for COVID-19 testing in New York, but insurance companies argue more is needed in order to keep up with the demand and the cost of the tests.
New York typically reports results of anywhere between 49,000 and 70,000 tests a day, and has an infection rate of about 1 percent.
The tests are funded through a combination of state and federal entities, health insurers and employers. If private insurers were required to cover the entire cost of a test, the effect could equal between 2 percent and 9 percent of an average health insurance premium.
Federal law has required health plans to provide coverage without cost sharing for COVID-19 diagnostic tests. But federal guidance has also constricted the coverage requirement to not apply to "back to work" testing.