Americans can get free COVID-19 tests again — here’s how

Creative Circle Studio/Getty Images

  • Health insurance companies are required to cover eight home COVID-19 tests per customer per month.

  • People can request a refund or visit network retailers for a free trial.

  • The Biden administration is handing out four free coronavirus tests in December.

People with private health insurance can get COVID-19 tests at home free of charge.

Insurance companies must cover eight over-the-counter COVID-19 home tests per person per month, the Biden administration announced in January 2022. All home test kits authorized or approved by the Food and Drug Administration are eligible for reimbursement.

The policy covers rapid antigen tests (such as Abbott’s BinaxNow). Most insurance companies already cover the cost of a PCR test at a healthcare facility if someone has symptoms or has been exposed to COVID-19.

The FDA has approved 27 over-the-counter tests. Here are some of the tests eligible for home delivery or pharmacy reimbursement:

Get free tests in “preferred” locations

Most people can get tests, which cost between $15 and $35 for a two-pack, covered in advance at their insurer’s “preferred” pharmacies. Insurers are required to pay $12 per individual test (or $24 per two-pack) at out-of-network locations, leaving the remaining cost up to the customer.

You can check your insurer’s website to see if they have a dealer network in place; otherwise, the company is responsible for the cost of the eight tests with no price limit.

The cost of test kits is enough to prevent many people from getting tested at home, and long lines and remote locations can also make in-person testing inaccessible.

For the roughly 150 million Americans with private health insurance, at least one barrier to testing is being removed through this policy.

People on Medicare Part A are still unable to get reimbursed for their at-home COVID-19 tests through the program, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (although they are eligible to order a batch of free testing via COVID.gov/trials.)

However, if you have Medicare Part B — including those enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan — you are entitled to eight over-the-counter COVID-19 tests each calendar month until the emergency public health order ends. COVID-19. So far, the public health emergency order is due to expire in January 2023.

Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance plans are already required to fully cover the cost of home testing.

More free tests will be delivered to homes from December

Americans with private insurance can order tests from pharmacy retailers like CVS and Walgreens.

For those without insurance, the Biden administration announced Dec. 15 that U.S. households can once again order free at-home COVID-19 tests through COVID.gov/tests. The administration previously suspended that program in September. Each household is limited to four home tests and orders will start shipping before Christmas this year.

The Biden administration will also distribute free at-home testing to 6,500 rental units assisted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and up to 500 major food banks.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *