Free at-home COVID tests: Reimbursement details, monthly limits
As of Saturday, private health insurers will be required to cover up to eight home COVID-19 tests per month for people on their plans. The Biden administration announced the change Monday as they want to lower costs and make testing for the virus more convenient.
Under the new policy, Americans will be able to either purchase home testing kits for free under 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.
President Joe Biden faced criticism over the holiday season for a shortage of at-home rapid tests as Americans traveled to see family as there was a surge in cases from the more transmissible omicron variant. Now the administration is working to make COVID-19 home tests more accessible.
The federal government will also launch a website to begin making 500 million at-home COVID-19 tests available via mail. The administration also is scaling 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 said. Some insurers may choose to cover the costs of at-home tests purchased earlier, but they won't have to.
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