Source: Press Of Atlantic City
Home COVID tests are now available at no cost to most Americans, as part of the Biden administration’s effort to increase testing around the United States.
Folks can buy home tests online or in stores and be fully reimbursed by their private insurance, without any copays or deductibles. You’ll either have your test paid for at the time of purchase or you can file a claim with your insurer.
Your insurance company has the option of choosing preferred stores, pharmacies and online shops where you can get your test at no cost up front, so you should check with your insurer before shopping. You can buy tests outside network, but in that case, insurers are only required to reimburse up to $12 per test. (Two-to-a-pack tests like BinaxNow are available for around $24 at pharmacies and stores, and about $20 at Walmart.)
Insurance companies have to pay for up to eight tests a month for every covered person in your household.
Rapid COVID tests are sold over the counter at pharmacies, big-box stores like Walmart and Target and online retailers like Amazon.
However, as many consumers have found out, the Omicron surge is causing spot shortages of the tests. Before running out, you might want to first call your doctor’s office or community health center to see if they have any rapid tests on hand.
Traditional Medicare is not currently paying for over-the-counter home COVID tests except at community health centers. However, it does cover COVID testing performed in a lab, if your doctor orders the test. Folks with a Medicare Advantage plan should see if their private insurer will cover the cost of a home test.
Medicaid already covers home tests at no cost, as does the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Uninsured folks might be able to get free home tests from their community or rural health center, Freeman said. The Department of Health and Human Services is providing up to 50 million free tests to health centers and Medicare-certified health clinics, CNN reports.
You also should check with your local health department to see if test kits are being handed out elsewhere in your community. Some libraries are doing so, for instance.
You can go to CovidTests.gov to order free tests (up to four per household). The website says there will be no shipping costs, and people won’t need to provide a credit card number to file an order.