Health Insurance

Headline:

Special enrollment options are available. Free COVID-19 tests are available through an on-line order form.  Tests purchased out of pocket are now reimbursable for people with private health insurance.

Last-reviewed: 9am, June 22, 2022

Key Resources:

The Basics

  • Special enrollment rules options are available including eligible Rhode Islanders who meet certain income household requirements.
  • Additional free COVID-19 tests are available. Ordering information here.
  • Effective January 15, 2022, a new federal rule requires private health insurance companies to cover the costs of COVID-19 at-home tests.

Note: Uninsured Rhode Islanders eligible for Medicaid can apply at any time.

The Breakdown

Health Insurance Enrollment:

  • Uninsured Rhode Islanders can apply through a “special enrollment” if they meet certain income eligibility or meet a qualifying event that includes:
    • Job loss
    • An employer changing the employee’s coverage
    • A change to household size
    • A recent move to RI
    • A change to immigration status
    • Young adults who are no longer covered by their parent’s insurance due to aging out
    • A loss of a government provided coverage.
  • Uninsured Rhode Islanders may be able to receive free or reduced fee care from these providers.
  • No one receiving Medicaid will be terminated while there is a federal public health declaration. The current emergency declaration was renewed on April 12, 2022 and can be renewed every 90 days.
Testing and Vaccines
  • People can now order a second set of free COVID-19 tests through this US government website. Once ordered, test kits can take up to 2 weeks to arrive.
  • Most insurers will cover the costs of 8 at-home COVID-19 tests per month. Check with individual health plans for full reimbursement information.
  • COVID-19 vaccine boosters are available to fully vaccinated people over age 12 irrespective of the type of vaccine they initially received.
  • Second boosters are available to those who meet certain eligibility.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are free to the person receiving the vaccines. Uninsured or undocumented Rhode Islanders can receive the vaccine for free. More information in this FAQs.
  • Testing is also available. More information here.
    • For the latest on general vaccine eligibility, vaccine clinic locations and testing sites, visit RIDOH.
  • Vaccines are required for healthcare workers in hospitals that receive federal funding. RI is not participating in a federal lawsuit challenging this federal vaccine mandate.

The Bottom Line

  • Care teams can help people connect to health insurance through HealthSource RI and can carefully monitor when Medicaid eligibility certification requirements will resume.
  • Vaccines are available irrespective of their insurance type (or lack thereof) or immigration status.

Spotlight on Consumer Rights:

  • Care teams can help people access health insurance by connecting them to two different services offered by RIPIN:
    • RIPIN’s Healthcare Advocate assists people covered by Medicare and Medicaid with insurance-related challenges such as billing disputes or coverage denials. Contact the Advocate here.
    • RIREACH also helps people access health insurance by removing barriers such as those related to insurance company denials, eligibility requirements, and billing. Contact RIREACH at 401-270-0101 or at callcenter@ripin.org.