As of Saturday, private health insurers will need to cover at least eight home COVID-19 tests each month for people on their plans.
The Biden Administration announced this huge change on Monday. By starting this new push to at-home COVID testing, the current administration hopes to lower costs and make testing for COVID-19 more convenient. This could also result in cases going down.
Under the new policy, Americans will be able to either purchase home testing kits for free with their insurance or submit receipts for the tests for reimbursement. PCR tests and rapid tests ordered or administered by a health provider will continue to be fully covered by insurance with no limit. Say goodbye to spending money every week on at-home COVID tests.
Despite this announcement, President Joe Biden faced criticism over the holiday season for a shortage of at-home rapid tests at a critical time of the year. The shortage occurred at a time when many Americans travel to see family. Therefore, there was a surge in cases from the more transmissible omicron variant.
Now the administration is working to make COVID-19 home tests more readily available.
The federal government will also launch a public website to begin making 500 million at-home COVID-19 tests available via mail. Now you can order whenever you like and get it delivered right to your doorstep! Best part? You don’t have to pay for the test.
They also plan to scale up emergency rapid-testing sites in areas experiencing the greatest surges in cases.
Only tests purchased on or after Jan. 15 will be required to be reimbursed, the administration informed insurance companies. Some insurers may choose to cover the costs of at-home tests purchased earlier, but it will not be required.