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At-Home COVID Tests to be Reimbursed by Insurance

At-Home COVID Tests to be Reimbursed by Insurance

The demand for at-home COVID tests has reached a new high within the last two months. With more positive results due to Omicron, health care systems can be strained. The COVID response team at the White House has been rolling out new measures in response to this. The most recent one is in regards to at-home tests, which will now be covered by all commercial insurance providers.

(Photo by Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images)

This also comes after COVID tests have seen a price hike from their usual cost of $25 and under. Anyone with a health insurance policy that purchased an FDA-approved at-home test over the counter can now file a claim with their insurer to get reimbursed. This is part of the White House’s effort to roll out free COVID tests

The Biden Administration is also working with health insurers in order to make PCR tests free along with the widely used rapid kits. Pharmacies and insurers were incentivized to provide tests as the White House continues to fund billions of dollars worth of COVID tests. There is also an effort to create a preferred network of pharmacies and retailers that provide free tests. A recent announcement has been made that they will spend another billion on rapid over-the-counter tests. 

Health insurance providers are now required to cover up to eight at-home COVID tests per month for a policyholder and any riders on their policy. Health insurance providers that specifically order COVID tests have no limit on how many tests they can cover. However, there are still a number of providers who do not yet offer coverage for tests. Policies with Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program have been specifically named by the White House with fully insured COVID tests. 

Since the new regulation went into effect this week, any COVID tests purchased before January 15 will not be covered by insurance. In addition to this, the White House took another active role in creating a website where people will be able to have tests delivered to their homes at no charge. Britain has previously done the same. More time at home will give people time to think about their residence, including the cost of their utilities. The contracts for the test kit assembly went to the companies Revival Health and Goldbelt Security. 

What’s more, private health insurance policyholders will not have to make any co-payments or cover any deductibles when filing a claim for a COVID test. If someone were to go to a doctor’s office or public testing sites they will be covered as long as the tests were ordered by their insurance provider. 

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The White House also has plans for those without health insurance too. Federal public test sites continue to grow in communities where a health policy isn’t as commonplace. The Biden Administration estimates this will make millions of tests more accessible. 

That is the end goal for all these initiatives as the more contagious Omicron variant makes its rounds. Insurance companies are eager to become part of this new system and plan to adapt fast as they reimburse their policyholders.

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