Everything you need to know about the new, free at-home Covid tests

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  • Those with private insurance can order tests online or at their local pharmacy.
  • In addition, all Americans should soon be able to get a COVID test at their home at no cost.

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During these tough times, at least one thing should soon be easy: getting tested for COVID-19.

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Starting Saturday, thanks to a new initiative from the Biden administration, many people will be able to test free at home.

Here’s what you need to know.

Who can get the free trial?

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150 million Americans Those who have private health insurance are eligible.

Not covered in the Medicare program, but those who have a Medicare Advantage may be covered and should check their plan for more information. Medicaid offers some reimbursement; Enrollees should contact their state program for additional guidance.

Short-term or health care sharing plans generally are not required to participate, said sabrina corlettCo-director of the Center for Health Insurance Reform at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy.

how does it work?

If you have private health insurance, you should be eligible for reimbursement after purchasing an at-home COVID test. This includes people who are insured by their employer, as well as people who have purchased a plan on the Affordable Care Act marketplace, said Lindsay Dawson, an associate director at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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The Biden administration is also encouraging insurers to let those people buy the test at no upfront cost, and then have a retailer or medical facility bill them, but it remains to be seen how many do and whether they choose that option. When will you provide ,

Keep in mind that Kovid tests are also done at home a reasonable expense For flexible savings accounts and health savings accounts.

Can I get any exam?

Beginning January 15, most home COVID tests that you can buy online or at a pharmacy will be covered under the policy, provided it is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Dawson said your insurer can recommend a network of preferred providers at which you can get a test at no cost, but you can buy one anywhere and ask for reimbursement later.

Here’s a less-than-ideal part: Your insurance company may only need to reimburse you for a rate of $12 per individual test.

Most tests are more expensive than that.

In a recent experiment on pricing home COVID tests, Dawson saw the cost of products exceed 480 times. On only seven of those occasions, he got a test cheaper than $12.

“A person may have to spend some time looking for a test in that price range,” Dawson said.

Ask your insurer if they’re implementing a $12 cap, Dawson said. If so, you may still be on the hook for no additional cost.

Is there a limit to the number of tests I can buy?

The policy should allow you to purchase at least eight tests in a month. A family of four would be entitled to 32 Tests in a month.

How do I make sure I get reimbursed by my insurer?

It will be important that you keep your receipt with you after purchasing the Kovid test at home Caitlin DonovanSpokesperson of the Patient Advocate Foundation

“Your normal receipt should be fine—I’ve even printed receipts from Amazon—and then you have to send it,” Donovan said.

That said, your insurer will have a reimbursement form they want you to fill out. You will then either mail them the paperwork, or submit it online.

To send a more straightforward receipt, Donovan recommends asking the cashier to ring the tests separately from additional purchases.

What if I do not have private health insurance?

The federal government will provide up to 50 million free, at-home tests to community centers and Medicare-certified health clinics. You should be able to find one of these centers on the website of your state or local health agency.

Not only that, the Biden administration has purchased more than 500 million over-the-counter tests that will soon be available to all Americans by home-delivery that they can request on a website. Stay tuned for more details.

When should I use the at-home test?

Dawson cited some of the most common circumstances in which people may wish to test themselves for the virus: they have come into contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID, are exhibiting symptoms of the virus, or are at a higher Expected to attend a-risk event, such as a large family gathering or one in which an immunocompromised person will be present.


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