(WKBN) – Starting Saturday, some rapid at-home COVID-19 tests will be free.
It comes after the White House announced a new policy in which people covered by a health insurance plan could be reimbursed for over-the-counter COVID-19 diagnostic tests that have been authorized, licensed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Each month, insurance companies will need to cover up to eight tests per person.
“Under President Biden’s leadership, we demand that insurers and group health plans make testing free for millions of Americans. This is all part of our overall strategy to accelerate access to easy-to-use and free home tests, ”said Xavier Becerra, secretary of HHS.
As part of this requirement, the administration encourages insurers and group health plans to put in place programs that allow people to obtain over-the-counter tests directly through pharmacies, retailers or others. preferred entities at no additional cost.
The cost of the test will be covered up front when you get it from one of these favorite places. Thus, you would not have to submit a refund request. However, if you purchase a test from an external network, you will be refunded up to $ 12 per individual test.
At a press conference on Monday, press secretary Jen Psaki said the free tests are expected to arrive in a few weeks.
” The contracts [for testing companies] are structured to require significant quantities to be delivered within a tight deadline, the first of which is expected to arrive early next week, ”Psaki said.
One thing to note, people on Medicare will not be able to be reimbursed for their COVID-19 tests at home through the program, according to the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services. This is because Medicare already offers COVID-19 diagnostic tests, such as PCR and antigen tests, free of charge for those covered. The test simply needs to be “ordered by a physician, non-physician practitioner, pharmacist, or other licensed healthcare practitioner,” the Biden administration said.
The Medicaid program and children’s health insurance program plans are required to fully cover the cost of home testing.
The White House also announced that it will purchase 500 million rapid home tests to distribute free to Americans. This could benefit those who do not have insurance. A website will be set up for people to request for the test to be delivered to them.
You can get more information from your insurer on how they will cover over-the-counter testing.
You can find more information about the policy here.