Coronavirus: Tests to be reimbursed by medical insurance
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    Coronavirus: Tests to be reimbursed by medical insurance

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    Medical insurance will reimburse not only tests used to detect the novel Coronavirus, but also those that serve to confirm immunity to the virus, CEO Jo De Cock of Belgium’s health insurance agency, INAMI, confirmed on Saturday.

    INAMI has stipulated the modalities of reimbursement for the various tests now used to detect Covid-19. Anyone who has had to undergo a test according to the guidelines issued by the Government qualifies for reimbursement by the agency. Such invoices had hitherto been frozen at INAMI’s request.

    De Cock said INAMI had wanted to prevent hospitals or laboratories from making patients pay for tests. “At the beginning of the crisis, we saw that some were charging patients up to 139 euros,” he said.

    “Of course, you cannot do that. There will be rules specifying that nothing can be charged to the patients if the directives have been followed.” On the other hand, a patient who, himself, asks to undergo a test will need to pay.

    Meanwhile, the future virus tests that should show the presence of antibodies will also be reimbursed. “For the moment we are still deciding how that will occur,” Jo De Cock said, adding that this would be worked out by a team of specialists.

    On the other hand, the INAMI Director preferred not to speculate on the financial consequences of the Coronavirus crisis for health insurance. “We do not yet have an overview of the costs,” he explained.

    However, it is clear that some “normal” costs are going down, even if temporarily, and it is “very clear” that dental and hip operations have been postponed, while some routine periodic tests are no longer being done, he said.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times