end of full coverage of PCR and antigen tests by Medicare

From decrees to decrees, the Covid-19 is gradually emerging from the daily life of the French. Almost a month after the announcement of the abandonment of several emblematic “test-trace-isolate” devices, an order published on Tuesday February 28 in Official newspaper provides a new framework for the care screening tests for Covid-19. From 1is March, they will no longer be 100% reimbursed by Medicare.

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Only the “more fragile” will continue to benefit from full coverage, even in the absence of a medical prescription: people aged 65 and over, those under 18, patients with long-term illness (ALD) and pregnant women, who may benefit from exemption from medical expenses under maternity insurance). In addition, professionals in the medical and medico-social sectors, as well as people undergoing collective screening organized by a regional health agency or a prefecture, are logically covered at 100%.

For the rest of the population aged 18 to 65, the rules of common law will now apply, with the reintroduction, for all antigenic tests or PCR, of a co-payment, i.e. that is, the portion of health expenses that remains the responsibility of the patient once Medicare has reimbursed its share. Concretely, it is expected that the insured pay 30% of the cost of the test if it is carried out by a doctor or a pharmacist and 40% if it is by a nurse or a masseur-physiotherapist. But, “for the vast majority of policyholders who have additional cover, the remainder will be zero. The same is true for beneficiaries of complementary health insurance.specifies the General Directorate of Health in a press release sent on Tuesday.

Additional barrier to screening

In addition, the distinction between vaccinated and non-vaccinated, who until then had to present a certain number of conditions for free access to the tests, such as a medical prescription, is no longer mentioned in the texts.

If in concrete terms the vast majority of the French population will be able to continue to be tested without associated additional cost, this is undoubtedly an additional obstacle to screening for Covid-19. Since the beginning of the year, the Directorate of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics has already reported that the number of tests is at its lowest level since the beginning of August 2020, with 441,600 tests carried out between 13 and on February 19 (including 31% of antigenic tests).

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