At this time, antibody testing is covered with no cost-share if the test is determined to be medically appropriate and ordered by your healthcare provider.
If you are Medicare Advantage member, you do not need an order from your provider but we encourage to speak with your provider about the benefits of testing
If you are a member of State Program or Product (MediSource, Child Health Plus, or Essential Plan): If you are enrolled in a State Program with Independent Health, we strongly encourage you to work with your primary care provider or other healthcare providers who participate with Independent Health to help decide and arrange COVID-19 virus or antibody testing. If it is not an emergency, you have to get your services from in-network providers. Working with in-network providers will help ensure you are not billed in error by providers that do not participate with Independent Health.
If you are a member of a self-funded group: Members who are Self-Funded through your employer should contact us at (716) 631-2661 or 1-800-257-2753 for more information about this coverage. The back of your member ID card indicates “Medical benefits administered by Nova.”
What you need to know about antibody tests
Antibody tests look for past infection with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. After someone has been infected with the coronavirus, their body usually produces antibodies in response to the infection. Antibodies are proteins that help fight off infections.
Depending on when someone was infected and the timing of the antibody test, the test may not find antibodies in someone’s blood with a current COVID-19 infection, because it can take one to three weeks for antibodies to appear after symptoms occur. This means a person infected with COVID-19 may not yet have developed antibodies, leading to a negative test result.
The CDC has advised that antibody tests should not be used to diagnose an active COVID-19 infection. In addition, medical experts do not know yet if having antibodies to the virus can protect someone from getting infected with the virus again, or how long that protection might last. For these reasons, it is important that you discuss with your primary care provider the value of antibody testing. If your primary care provider orders antibody testing for you, you should be sure to follow up with your provider to discuss your test results and what they may mean.
The lab that conducts the test is required to tell you:
If the test has not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration.
False negative results can occur. You could have infection not detected by the test.
False positive results can occur. Positive results may be due to past or present infection with non-COVID-19 coronavirus strains such as the common “cold.”
Results from antibody testing should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude COVID-19 infection, or to inform infection status.