Coverage of COVID-19 tests

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The State Health Plan adheres to the testing guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As this is a rapidly changing situation, adjustment to plan provisions will continue to be made as needed. Currently, testing for COVID-19 is covered by the Plan as follows:

  • Diagnostic tests. Commonly known as COVID-19 PCR test or simply PCR, the State Health Plan covers this test at no member cost when prescribed by a healthcare provider for individuals who are symptomatic and for those who have been exposed to COVID-19 and are concerned about infection, for the purpose of identifying and treating the disease. In this situation, other services related to the administration of the diagnostic test are also covered at no member cost.
  • Antibody tests. Sometimes referred to as a serology or immunity test, the State Health Plan covers this test at no member cost when medically appropriate as determined and ordered by a healthcare provider. In this situation, other services related to the administration of the diagnostic test are also covered at no member cost. It is important to note that the World Health Organization, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the CDC do not recommend using antibody testing as the sole method of diagnosing COVID-19 or confirming immunity as this type of test currently has too many variables and unknown performance characteristics.
  • Return to work tests. Currently, the CDC does not recommend return to work testing, and therefore is not covered by the State Health Plan for this purpose.

Public health surveillance

Generally, public health surveillance is the systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of health-related data to improve public health and prevent disease. Increased COVID-19 testing and recently appropriated funding to assist in this testing are part of the ongoing efforts to ramp up public health surveillance of the disease in South Carolina. Data collected will be used to monitor spread and develop additional responses to combat COVID-19. As part of the public health surveillance, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is operating mobile testing and popup clinics throughout the state, especially in rural and underserved communities. These clinics offer free COVID-19 testing to the public. To view current mobile testing clinics sites, visit scdhec.gov/covid19mobileclinics.

If you feel sick

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, such as a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider by phone or online before you attempt to see anyone in person. Your healthcare provider can give you instructions on how to get your medical needs addressed while minimizing the risk of exposure to yourself and others.

More information

For the most up-to-date information on South Carolina’s response to the COVID-19 disease, go to accelerate.sc.gov or scdhec.gov.