Starting this Saturday (January 15), all private insurance companies will be required to cover the cost of at-home COVID testing kits. Up to eight at-home testing kits per person per month will be covered under the new policy, which was announced on Monday by the Biden administration.
Americans will be able to pick up the testing kits at in-network pharmacies and retailers for free. Those who purchase the at-home kits from other retailers will be able to file for reimbursement of the cost, though some insurance companies will only be required to cover up to $12.
Tests ordered or administered by a healthcare professional will continue to be free of charge.
“This is all part of our overall strategy to ramp up access to easy-to-use, at-home tests at no cost,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “By requiring private health plans to cover people’s at-home tests, we are further expanding Americans’ ability to get tests for free when they need them.”
Health insurance companies said they are working to adhere to the new rule but warned it will not solve all of the issues around getting COVID tests.
“We are concerned that the policy does not solve for the limited supply of tests in the country and could cause additional consumer friction as insurers stand up a program in just four days’ time,” Blue Cross Blue Shield Association President Kim Keck said in a statement.