Kansas To Slow COVID Test Funds

Kansas will start next year to require employers, individuals and health insurance companies to pay some costs associated with COVID-19 testing.

The state Department of Health and Environment announced that it will start phasing out free screening tests for people who aren’t showing COVID-19 symptoms, or who haven’t potentially been exposed.

The agency said it expects the policy to begin in March 2022.

The department said it can’t sustain having public health agencies cover the cost of all testing indefinitely.

The agency said it initially allocated $141 million in federal funds to make COVID-19 tests available, and to support commercial and university labs to expand processing and sampling capacity.

But, the department said, infections from the delta variant depleted the funds faster than expected.

The changes will mainly affect programs used by employers to test 10% of their workers on a regular basis.

It will also affect programs by community organizations offering free rapid tests.