HHS on Tuesday announced $4.8 billion will go toward reimbursing providers for tests administered to the uninsured.
The Health Resources and Services Administration COVID Uninsured program, funded by the American Rescue Plan, reimburses providers at national Medicare rates.
As of May 19, the program has already spent $4 billion on tests, $2.5 billion on COVID-related treatment, and $85 million on vaccinations.
Reimbusements are given on a rolling basis.
"Testing remains critical and now it's available at no cost to those who need it," said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.
According to a National Health Institute Survey, 30 million Americans were uninsured in the first half of 2020, an increase from the 2016 uninsured rate by 1.7 percentage points. While the survey shows no significant change in the uninsured rate with the onset of the COVID pandemic, the Biden administration has focused on increasing marketplace enrollment among the uninsured.
In March, the administration extended the exchange special enrollment period until Aug. 15, giving consumers three more months to sign up for coverage through HealthCare.gov. This covers 36 states. As of early May, nearly one million consumers have enrolled through the website. Premiums have fallen for many enrollees. Some say this is due to growth in insurer competition within the ACA marketplaces, which have become more attractive to companies following the spike in consumer enrollment.