Insurance now covers at-home COVID 19 testing kits for everyone

Starting this week, private health insurance companies are now required to cover the costs of over-the-counter Covid 19 self-tests at up to $12 per test. Consumers can either purchase the testing kits at no cost or submit receipts for reimbursement from the insurance company.

A family of five could be reimbursed for up to 40 tests per month under the plan. PCR tests and rapid tests ordered or administered by a health provider will continue to be fully covered by insurance with no limit.

President Joe Biden announced the federal requirement for insurance companies in December and officials said Monday that it would begin Jan. 15.

“This is all part of our overall strategy to ramp up access to easy-to-use, at-home tests at no cost,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement Monday. “By requiring private health plans to cover people’s at-home tests, we are further expanding Americans’ ability to get tests for free when they need them.”

Health insurance industry groups have said insurers would carry out the administration’s order but cautioned consumers that it won’t be as easy as flipping a switch.

To order your free at home self test Covid 19 test kits, The Biden administration launched this site which will go live on Jan. 19. 

The tests, part of the administration’s purchase of 500 million tests last month to help tackle a record surge in infections, will be mailed to homes within seven to 12 days, according to an official who briefed reporters.

Biden announced earlier this week the administration would double its order with the purchase of an additional 500 million at-home coronavirus tests amid a shortage of tests nationwide that’s led to long lines at testing locations and overburdened hospitals.

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