HRSA Funding for COVID-19 Runs Out

Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) recently announced that they would stop accepting claims for their Uninsured program, ultimately ending reimbursement for health care clinicians who provide testing, treatment, and administration of COVID-19 vaccines to uninsured individuals. The Uninsured program, which began in February of 2020, allowed healthcare professionals to be reimbursed for services primarily related to the vaccination, testing, and treatment of COVID-19 patients at Medicare rates. The program covered many services, including specimen testing. COVID-19 treatment was covered via telehealth appointments, office visits, and Emergency Department visits. From a pharmacy perspective, the Unsured program covered the dispensing rates for FDA-licensed antiviral drugs and administration fees for the COVID-19 vaccines. The program allowed providers to, “seek reimbursement from a program or plan that covers COVID-19 vaccine administration fees for the patient, such as a patient’s private insurance company, Medicare, Medicaid, or the federal government’s COVID-19 Uninsured Program” but not seek reimbursement from the patient themselves. To date, HRSA has paid approximately $18.8B in claims. $11.4B went towards COVID-19 testing, $5.8B for treatment, and $1.6B for vaccinations.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are approximately 28 million uninsured Americans. The creation and funding of the Uninsured program granted them access to testing, treatment, and vaccinations that may have otherwise been inaccessible due to their uninsured status. With providers, hospitals, pharmacies, and other health care centers now unable to receive funding from the government for their uninsured populations, they will have to find funding from other sources, including charging the patients for these services. Large diagnostic testing companies, such as Quest and Curative, announced that they would start charging patients up to $125 per test depending on the type or stop testing the uninsured altogether. On the other hand, large pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens are continuing to provide free or low-cost testing options for all Americans and continue to state that all COVID-19 vaccines remain free.

The lack of funding will impact uninsured patients access to services. Smaller, independent pharmacies and healthcare providers may not have the financial resources to continue to provide care. There are unused Covid relief dollars that could be reallocated to this program. What is keeping HRSA and Congress from acting?


Posted April 2022

2 responses to “HRSA Funding for COVID-19 Runs Out”

  1. Kyle Spaniol says:

    Good article! I was very surprised with how long the funding lasted up until this point. Some insurers are even no longer covering testing for travel only patient. For those patients it would be worthwhile to get at-home tests as most insurers are covering them, just make sure to check your airlines to ensure they are accepted

    • Alan Sekula says:


      Thanks for reading our blog and providing your comment! We appreciate the additional insights regarding insurance coverage of COVID testing and reminder to continually check direct and reputable sources for the most current updates.

      We encourage you to keep reading our posts and please don’t hesitate to send further questions or comments.

      Thanks again,
      The PHSL Team

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