Three takeaways from Biden’s Omicron winter plan – State of Reform
Today, the Biden administration announced a new plan to fight Omicron variant after case detection in US
The plan includes several elements that will impact health care systems and the delivery of care in Washington State. The State of Reform walked through the statement to provide three key takeaways you need to know.
Get the latest information on state-specific policies for the healthcare industry delivered to your inbox.
Insurance will be required to cover COVID-19 home testing
For Americans with private insurance who can receive tests in offices, pharmacies and clinics without cost sharing, the Biden administration is working to get insurance companies reimbursed for home tests.
For those not covered by private insurance, home tests will be distributed to âkey community sitesâ such as health centers and rural clinics. The administration undertakes to distribute 50 million tests free of charge to these sites.
By January 15, the U.S. departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury will issue guidelines allowing people to purchase these tests over the counter and claim reimbursement from their group health plan or of their health insurance issuer.
Insurers will be required to cover the cost of these tests as long as a public health emergency is in effect. Currently, there are eight home COVID-19 tests on the market. In Seattle, these tests currently cost around $ 25.
Focus will be on treatment pills in addition to vaccines
While vaccines remain perhaps the most crucial part of the country’s COVID-19 strategy, emerging treatments offer promising results in reducing the severity of the disease. The FDA is currently reviewing antiviral treatments. The administration announced that it “ensures that if and when new COVID-19 treatment pills are found to meet FDA scientific standards, they are fairly accessible to all Americans.”
The Biden administration is also working to get 13 million doses of antiviral courses. This is six times the number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations reported throughout 2021. At the same time, the federal government is committing to use resources to update vaccines and reminders as needed in the face of the Omicron variant.
Rapid response teams will be deployed this winter
Over the summer and fall, the federal government deployed 2,000 people, provided 3,200 ventilators, ambulances and other essential supplies, and shipped more than 2.3 million monoclonal antibody treatments to fight the wave of Delta variants. The administration announced today that it is making more than 60 emergency response teams available to states in the winter.
This includes more than 20 Department of Defense medical response teams to support clinical staff in overcrowded hospitals; 10 National Disaster Medical System teams to provide clinical support to hospitals; more than 20 monoclonal antibody strike teams to support treatments; and more than 15 CDC expert deployments to conduct outbreak investigations and provide epidemiological or technical support as needed.