What you need to know about coronavirus and your health insurance – Get your quote in a couple of minutes

Obtaining private laboratory tests for the new coronavirus could become more widely available now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have expanded the testing guidelines for COVID-19. Lab Corp. announced last Thursday that it was immediately offering tests for COVID-19, while Quest Diagnostics said it will begin testing this week. On Monday, the CDC said tests were now available in all 50 states, with a total of 75,000 lab kits "cumulatively" for public labs and others coming soon, according to comments on a conference call made by Dr Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases. Most of the coronavirus tests will likely come from the private sector, he added, adding that private labs have multiple test kits. Still, many Americans who want to be tested and may need treatment may wonder who will pay for the cost. the administration has designated the new COVID-19 test as an essential health benefit, stating that the Medicaid and Medicare plans will cover the costs of screening. Some states, including New York and Washington, have issued emergency orders that have prompted state health insurers to waive any reimbursements or deductibles for patients who need tests for coronavirus. The health insurer Cigna will waive co-payments or cost quotas for COVID-19 tests on many plans. Aetna, which is owned by CVS Health, has also stated that it will waive the joint payment of "all diagnostic tests related to COVID-19" and which meet the CDC guidelines. UnitedHealthGroup has stated that it will waive the sharing of member costs, including copays, coinurance and COVID-19 diagnostic test allowances provided in approved locations in accordance with the CDC guidelines for all commercial policyholders, Medicaid and Medicare members. As of March 6, many other health insurance companies had announced actions related to COVID-19. An employee showing a COVID-19 coronavirus test system at a polymerase chain reaction laboratory at the Stavropol Territory Hygiene and Epidemiology Center. Alexander Pogozhev | TASS | Getty Images However, there are differences in costs that can be borne by patients depending on the type of plan, its coverage and the insurance company. Insurers like UnitedHealthcare have said they will also work to work with self-insured plans: many large and medium-sized US employers are self-insured, which means they use insurance companies to administer their plans, but pay the costs themselves and can establish benefits and cost-sharing terms. "Understanding what your benefits are regardless of what the benefits of your friends or family members may be with the same health insurance company is very important," said Anthony Lopez, senior director of eHealth, an online health insurance market. "Your friend may have a $ 20 co-financing and the doctor's visits could be a $ 10 co-financing, so it is very important to understand your benefits." The good news is that all major health plans should cover this new virus just as flu, pneumonia or any other disease would do, said Lopez, who is a former health insurance agent. However, the reality is that many consumers will still have to bear some of the costs. Here are some expenses to consider: in some cases copays and cost sharing for COVID-19 tests may be waived, but not necessarily for all tests, treatments, office visits or other medical treatment related to your disease. Before medical coverage begins, depending on your plan, you may face copays, co-insurance – and your deductible. The average deductible amount for single coverage was $ 1,655 in 2019, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. More than a quarter of workers who were covered by an employer plan paid a deductible of $ 2,000 or more last year. Lopez says that if you are hospitalized or quarantined in a medical facility, it should be covered like any other hospitalization. And if you are self-quarantined at home, your plan should cover any medical visits if you go out and medical treatment from an authorized professional if you stay. However, if you're looking for experimental or alternative treatments, you probably won't be covered if it isn't considered a standard cure. Your share of all these costs can add up quickly, so it's a good idea to have some money saved. "People always have to make sure they can afford the deductible, but unfortunately many can't," said physician and financial advisor Carolyn McClanahan, founder of Life Planning Partners. A 2019 Bankrate survey found that only 40% of Americans said they would pay an unexpected $ 1,000 expense, such as an emergency room visit, with savings. More than a third should borrow money in some way, with a credit card, a personal loan or from family or friends. Since the coverage of the plan can also vary with the same insurer, find out what potential costs you may face in advance. Call the number on the back of the insurance card to contact the insurance company and review specific services. SIGN UP: Money 101 is an 8-week financial freedom learning course, delivered weekly to your inbox. CHECK: "The only type of travel insurance" you need if you travel during the coronavirus epidemic through Grow with Acorns + CNBC. Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.