AMERICANS who are covered by health insurance can now get eight Covid-19 home tests for free.
Starting today, January 15, private health insurance plans are required to cover over-the-counter tests, up to $12 each.
People can either purchase the kits at no cost or submit receipts to their insurance company for reimbursement.
So a family of five could be reimbursed for up to 40 tests a month, under the scheme.
PCR tests and rapid tests ordered or administered by a healthcare provider will continue to be fully covered without limit.
President Joe Biden announced the federal demand in December last year and officials announced Monday that it would begin today.
“This is all part of our overall strategy to accelerate access to easy-to-use, no-cost home testing,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement Monday. “By requiring private health plans to cover people’s home testing, we are further expanding the ability of Americans to get free testing when they need it.”
Health insurance industry groups said insurers would fulfill the order, but warned consumers it would not be as simple as flipping a switch.
Health Care Service Corporation or HCSC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, told USA Today if a member uses a pharmacy in the network of its pharmacy benefit manager, Prime, “they do not need to submit a separate claim for reimbursement”.
A website, Covidtests.gov, is launched by the Biden administration on January 19 where Americans can order free Covid tests.
Testing is completely free, including shipping costs.
Once you place an order, it will be shipped via the United States Postal Service.
The tests will be mailed to homes within seven to 12 days, according to an official who briefed reporters.
Biden announced earlier this week that his administration would double its order of 500 million tests performed last month, in a bid to tackle the nationwide test shortage.
The FAQ section of the government website states: “Most people with a health plan can go online, or to a pharmacy or shop to buy an over-the-counter Covid-19 diagnostic test authorized by the Food at home. and Drug Administration of the United States. (FDA) free of charge, either by reimbursement or free of charge through their insurance.
Insurance companies are required to reimburse up to $12 per individual test or the cost of the test if it is less than $12.
If the price of the test is more than $12 each, the consumer must pay the difference.
At-home Covid-19 tests are readily available at most pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart.
You can also buy them online through Amazon.
The Sun also explains when you must recertify to continue receiving SNAP benefits.
Plus, how the Social Security COLA increase might affect your SNAP benefits.
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