Washtenaw County announces free COVID-19 treatment, testing for residents without insurance

Kristin Travis, a community outreach doula, holds a home COVID-19 test kit Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, while picking up supplies at Open Arms Perinatal Services before going out to visit some of her clients in Seattle. The kits were provided by the King County Public Health Dept. and distributed by community-based organizations as a way of providing more accessible testing and faster results. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) (Ted S. Warren, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. – The Washtenaw County Health Department announced on Tuesday a new COVID-19 program for residents without health insurance or access to a health care provider.

Individuals who qualify are invited to join COVID Plan4Health, which connects residents who test positive to free antiviral medication Paxlovid. Testing under the program is also offered at no cost.

“If you’re not up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccines (including a bivalent booster) or have risk factors like being older or not very physically active, you’re more likely to get really sick from COVID, even if your initial symptoms are mild,” Washtenaw County Health Department medical director Juan Marquez said in a release.

“Other high-risk factors include being a current or former smoker, having conditions like asthma, cancer, or diabetes, and being overweight or obese. We encourage all Washtenaw residents who meet these criteria and don’t have access to medical care to join COVID Plan4Health.”

Individuals who have health insurance and a provider should speak to their doctor about treatment, WCHD officials said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults who took Paxlovid to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 were more than 50% less likely to be hospitalized.

Individuals who join COVID Plan4Health will be sent free at-home rapid tests and can request treatment if they test positive for COVID-19 via email or text message. Prescriptions for Paxlovid can be picked up from the Health Department or from local pharmacies.

Joining the new program is free. To join, fill out an online form here. For further assistance, call 734-544-6700.

“Join COVID Plan4Health today so you’re prepared if you need treatment in the future,” Marquez said in a statement. “COVID treatments must be started within the first few days of having symptoms to be effective. We hope this program gives peace of mind to those who may need treatment quickly if they get COVID-19.”

The Washtenaw County Health Department is located at 555 Towner St. in Ypsilanti.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.