No changes to Coastal Health District testing, vaccine sites for uninsured

Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 4:49 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 4, 2022 at 6:02 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Federal funding that reimburses health providers for testing uninsured people for COVID-19 is set to run out. That means those without insurance could have to pay out of pocket if they want to be tested or get a vaccine.

Some local health providers are working to keep these services free for everyone.

Some good news for uninsured people looking to get a COVID test through the Coastal Health District. Even though that federal funding is expected to dry up, officials there won’t be any changes at their testing sites.

“People who are uninsured can continue to come to our public health department testing sites we are hosting. They’ll be tested and there will be no out of pocket cost whatsoever,” Coastal Health District Director Dr. Lawton Davis said.

Dr. Davis said that individual grants and other sources will keep COVID tests and vaccines free for everyone for now.

This federal program started at the beginning of the pandemic. It’s allowed health providers that give COVID tests and vaccines to the uninsured to apply for reimbursements.

That program stopped accepting new claims for testing last week and will stop accepting claims for vaccinating the uninsured starting April 5.

But as Dr. Davis mentioned, those tests and treatments will continue to be free for everyone and any scaling back of testing has not been because of a lack of funding.

“Any scaling back we’ve done has been due to a lack of demand. It may become necessary to scale back a little further, but my guess is that we will certainly attempt to, at a minimum, have testing available at the north end of the district which is Chatham County and then probably in the southern end of the district – probably in Glynn County,” Dr. Davis said.

And Dr. Davis also pointed out that since demand is so low for testing right now, those grants funding uninsured people getting tested will hopefully last a little longer.

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