TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced Friday that it will change its COVID-19 testing strategy by pushing the cost of testing on employers, health insurers and individuals.
This news comes after KDHE updated its employer testing handbook, which will ensure testing remains available to Kansans as funds for free testing begin to dry up.
According to KDHE, the COVID-19 virus is expected to circulate as much as the flu in the past. Testing remains an important tool in identifying the virus and protecting Kansas communities, even with increasing vaccination rates.
“Testing has become an increasingly important way for those who choose not to be vaccinated to work, attend events and travel,” said Ashley Goss, acting secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. “This is particularly critical as more and more companies and employers have increasingly demanded proof of vaccination or a demonstration of a negative COVID-19 test.”
KDHE has reported that the increase in infections due to the Delta variant has significantly impacted the funds made available through a $141 million federal grant to Kansas. Part of the new testing strategy unveiled by the KDHE aims to reduce testing costs to the state and ensure that Kansans still have uninterrupted access to testing for COVID-19.
Some of these new changes mean employers, health insurers and individuals will have to pay more for COVID-19 testing in the future. This new shared responsibility of both the private and public sectors will help ease the financial pressure on the state.
Free testing sites are still available throughout Kansas for those experiencing symptoms or who may have been exposed to COVID-19. These sites will remain free, subject to need and available state and federal funding.