What to Know About Insurance Coverage for At-Home COVID Tests

Beginning Saturday, most people with private health insurance will be able to get up to eight at-home PCR and rapid COVID-19 tests per month after after a recent announcement by the Biden administration

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At-home PCR and rapid COVID-19 tests will soon to be free for millions of Americans after a recent announcement by the Biden administration.

Most people with private health insurance will be able to get up to eight tests per month at no cost beginning on Saturday.

"It's about time," said Therese Green, whose family has battled COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. "We needed that in 2020 when it first happened."

The White House has released new details on their efforts to put free at-home COVID-19 tests in the hands of all Americans.

Dennis Shane stocked up during the rush to buy at-home tests and is glad more are being made available.

"I think we have about 10 or 12 sitting at home right now," he said. "I feel like if people need them, they should be able to get them."

You can either shop for one of the 13 FDA-approved at-home tests online or at a store and have your insurance cover the bill or pay out of pocket and get reimbursed.

For those who are uninsured, the Biden administration is purchasing 500,000 at-home COVID-19 tests that will be mailed to people who request them online through a website that has not yet launched.

But getting them may be a challenge.

"There have been shortages of the foam swabs, there's shortages of electronics, machinery to produce them," said UMass Amherst Professor Dr. Anna Nagurney.

Nagurney believes the federal government needs to invest more in sustained production if it wants to ensure everyone can get a test.

"I think we have maybe about 300 million [tests] a month to be produced, so this is going to be challenging," she said.

Green hopes the program will roll out smoothly so she and her family can getting tested more often and at home.

"Just to know before you go out and go to places," she said. "You want to know and be sure that you don't infect anybody else."

If you decide to pay out of pocket for a COVID-19 test and plan to get it reimbursed, make sure to keep the receipt. Also check with your health insurance company if they have a preferred provider, because they will only cover up to $12 per test if you buy them out of network.

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