On Friday, April 3, 2020, the administration announced that the US federal government would compensate hospitals and other providers treating uninsured COVID-19 patients at Medicare rates. Health and Human Services Secretary Azar said:
“Under the President’s direction, we will use a portion of that funding [CARES Act] to cover providers’ costs of delivering COVID-19 care for the uninsured, sending the money to providers through the same mechanism used for testing.”
When making this announcement, the Secretary stressed that providers would be paid at Medicare rates and would be forbidden to balance bill any covered person. Although asked, Azar did not clarify whether government funds would be available for treating undocumented persons. Azar promised that regulations explaining how this would work would be released soon.