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How can I get testing or treatment for COVID-19 if I'm uninsured or undocumented? How do I cover health costs associated with COVID-19?

Last Updated: 07/14/2021

COVID-19 testing and treatment is available to everyone in New Jersey regardless of their insurance or immigration status.

Below you will find resources for free testing and treatment as well as how to apply for health insurance.

COVID-19 TESTING AND TREATMENT

Free COVID-19 testing is available at many locations across the state. To find a list of free public testing locations in New Jersey by county, including short-term pop-up testing sites, refer to this article.

In addition, free COVID-19 testing and treatment is available at Community Health Centers, also known as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), to all people whether you have health insurance or not and regardless of your immigration status Find an FQHC near you with this search tool, through 211 online, or by directly calling 2-1-1 (support is available in English and Spanish).

COVID-19 testing and treatment and receipt of Medicaid or NJ FamilyCare benefits are not considered a Public Charge for immigration matters.

Individuals with urgent symptoms may also continue to access services at acute care hospitals. The COVID-19 testing cost will be waived for uninsured individuals eligible for charity care. Information on the Charity Care Program can be found at: https://www.nj.gov/health/charitycare. You should talk to a medical provider before going to your local hospital.

HEALTH INSURANCE

If you do not have health insurance or lose coverage, you may be eligible for free or low-cost coverage (www.njfamilycare.org) through NJ FamilyCare, New Jersey's publicly funded health insurance program. NJ Family Care includes CHIP, Medicaid and Medicaid expansion populations and covers doctor visits, prescriptions, vision, dental care, mental health and substance use services and even hospitalization.

In addition, you can visit GetCoveredNJ, a one-stop shop for health insurance for residents who do not have coverage from an employer or other program. Under the American Rescue Plan, more people than ever will qualify for financial help in purchasing a plan through Get Covered NJ. If you did not qualify for financial help before because your income was too high, you may now qualify under the federal changes. If you already are receiving financial help, you are likely eligible for additional premium reductions.

Visit Getcovered.nj.gov to learn more and apply for health insurance. A special COVID-19 enrollment period runs through December 31, 2021, but you can enroll any time if you have a major life change, like having a baby, moving or losing job-based insurance.

Trained professionals are available to help with enrollment. You can reach a trained navigator by phone, by calling the Center for Family Services Statewide Navigator Enrollment Hotline at 1-877-9-NAVIG8 (1-877-962-8448).

Note: State and federal law also require that most employees and dependents who lose health coverage under an employer's group health plan be given the opportunity to continue coverage for a period of time. Under the federal law (COBRA) and state law, the person electing to continue coverage can be required to pay the full premium plus a 2% administrative fee. You can contact your employer or benefits administrator for more information.

Does NJ FamilyCare cover costs associated with COVID-19?

NJ FamilyCare, the State's publicly funded health insurance program, covers testing, visits for testing, and testing-related services without cost to members. The program will also cover 90-day supplies of prescriptions for maintenance medications and early refills of prescriptions.

Additionally, New Jersey has taken administrative action to waive consumer cost sharing for all medically necessary COVID-19 testing, as well as services related to testing. The waiving of consumer cost sharing applies to the State's individual, small, and large group markets; the State Health Benefits and School Employee Health Benefits Plans; NJ FamilyCare's CHIP population; and the state's uninsured population, eligible for the Charity Care program.

How do I apply for NJ FamilyCare?

If you have experienced a life-changing event, such as losing your job or health coverage, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period that would allow you to presently enroll in health coverage. If you or anyone in your household lost qualifying health coverage in the past 60 days OR expects to lose coverage in the next 60 days, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

Visit GetCovered.NJ.gov to see if you qualify or to enroll in coverage.

For providers, the Department of Human Services Novel Coronavirus page has information on NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid waivers: https://nj.gov/humanservices/coronavirus.html

Source: https://www.nj.gov/governor/news/news/562020/20200310a.shtml
https://nj.gov/humanservices/coronavirus.html
https://nj.gov/health/cd/documents/topics/NCOV/COVID-19_Resources_forUndocumented_and_UninsuredFactsheet.pdf; https://www.state.nj.us/dobi/covid/faq.html