Health Insurers Must Cover the Cost of Home Covid-19 Tests Starting January 15

Health insurers must cover the cost of home Covid-19 tests starting January 15, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday.

The new requirement means that most consumers with private health insurance can buy at-home tests online or in stores and have them paid for at the time of purchase or get reimbursed by submitting a claim to their insurer.

Consumers will not need to visit their doctor or get a prescription to obtain the free tests, the department said. And the tests won’t be subject to copays or deductibles. Insurers must pay for up to eight tests per covered individual per month. But there won’t be any limit if a doctor orders or administers them after an office visit.

Insurers may set up a network of preferred stores, pharmacies and online retailers, where consumers can receive tests at no cost up front. People could still buy tests outside that network, but insurers would only have to reimburse up to $12 for each one. The requirement is not retroactive, so at-home tests purchased before January 15 do not qualify for reimbursement.

The administration also is purchasing 500 million at-home tests to be distributed for free. The first tests will start arriving for distribution “early next week,” the White House said Monday. It is setting up a website and hotline where Americans can request the tests.

Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP, already cover at-home tests with no cost-sharing. Medicare covers at no charge Covid-19 testing done in a lab when ordered by a medical professional. Those enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans should check with their insurers to see if at-home tests will be paid for, HHS said.

Excerpted from “Home Covid-19 tests must be paid for by health insurers starting Saturday” on CNN. Read the full article online.

Source: CNN | Home Covid-19 tests must be paid for by health insurers starting Saturday, | © 2022 Cable News Network. Retrieved Jan. 10, 2022

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