UPDATED: Governor Larry Hogan today issued a directive requiring all state health insurers to waive costs associated with testing for COVID-19. The directive, issued under the governor’s authority during a state of emergency, waives any cost-sharing, including co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles, in order to remove cost barriers to testing.
The governor also provided additional details regarding the three positive COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County. The three individuals—a married couple in their 70s, and a female in her 50s—all contracted the virus while on an Egyptian cruise of the Nile River. One of the individuals who tested positive attended a recent gathering at The Village at Rockville.
“I want to continue to assure Marylanders that our state is taking every precaution when it comes to the coronavirus,” said Governor Hogan. “Our highest priority is keeping our residents safe. I would encourage all Marylanders to remain calm, but to take this seriously and to continue to stay informed.”
The governor announced that 44 people in Maryland have met the criteria for COVID-19 testing, including the three confirmed cases. A total of 33 individuals have tested negative, including the three Jewish School students who recently returned from New York after indirect contact with an individual who tested positive for coronavirus. Eight cases are still pending.
In addition to removing cost barriers to testing, state health carriers will be required to waive any time restrictions on prescription medical refills, making it easier for individuals to obtain medications in advance of any quarantine. Carriers will also be encouraged to offer tele-health services, and to prepare to cover costs of vaccinations for COVID-19. Read the Maryland Insurance Administration’s bulletin to carriers here.
Also today, the governor updated U.S. Senator Ben Cardin and U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen by phone. In the afternoon, he met with House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson shortly after the Senate passed the governor’s emergency legislation granting him the authority to transfer resources from the state’s rainy day fund for Maryland’s novel coronavirus response. This evening, the House of Delegates unanimously passed the measure as well.
Maryland is currently operating under a state of emergency and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has elevated its state response activation level. At the governor’s direction, state agencies have ramped up response and preparedness efforts across all levels of government. Read the list of ongoing state actions here.
Information and updates about COVID-19 in Maryland are available at – health.maryland.gov/coronavirus.
Maryland continues to ramp up its response to the coronavirus in the state after three people tested positive for the virus in Montgomery County. Governor Hogan will update Marylanders during a press conference at 6pm, which will be live streamed on the Governor’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.