May 25 (UPI) -- The Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday that it will spend an additional $4.8 billion so uninsured Americans will have more access to COVID-19 testing.
Money from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan will go to pay for the additional testing.
"Testing remains critical and now it's available at no cost to those who need it."
COVID-19 tests given to nearly 30 million Americans without health insurance will be reimbursed under the plan.
Health providers had been reimbursed under previous stimulus plans, generally at Medicare rates. Almost $4 billion in testing reimbursements had been made as of last week.
The federal government has so far given more than $2.5 billion toward reimbursing providers for COVID-19 treatments and more than $85 million for vaccinating the uninsured.
Diana Espinosa, acting administrator for the Health Resources and Services Administration, said a return to normalcy in the United States depends on testing and vaccinating all Americans regardless of coverage.
"Focusing on the underserved and eliminating health access barriers for vulnerable communities is a core part of our mission," Espinosa said.