(NEXSTAR) — When Omicron began taking off in the United States, the White House announced that it would do more to help people access the COVID-19 test at home. From Saturday, most of the plans so far will be in effect.
Currently, private health insurance companies are required to cover eight home visits per member per month.
Depending on when and where you buy your home test, a kit that includes two tests usually sells for about $ 25, so you may be able to get insurance on the spot, the Medicaid and Medicaid Service Center said. I am saying.
However, many people have to pay for the test at their own expense and apply for a refund from their health insurance, especially in the early stages of the program.
If you pay at your own expense, we recommend that you keep a receipt as proof of purchase. You must request a refund from your health insurance company, not the federal government. (For more information, call the number on your health insurance card or check the company website.)
Insurers may not be able to claim tests purchased in the past as they only need to cover kits purchased after Saturday, January 15th.
The amount you can repay depends on whether your insurance company has a “network of priority stores, pharmacies, and online retailers that can be inspected at no cost.” Describes CMS..
If your insurance company sets up a way for you to take the test without prepayment, you will get up to $ 12 per test. If your insurance company hasn’t set up its own network or method for you to take tests through them, they are obliged to pay you the full cost of the test kit, even if it’s over $ 12. ..
“For example, if an individual buys two packs for $ 34 and the plan or insurance company does not have a system to cover prepaid costs, the plan or insurance company will have to refund $ 34 instead of $ 24.” Says CMS.
You do not have to first meet the deductible types to qualify.
Each insured is eligible to take the test eight times a month. This means that the couple will be tested 16 times a month and the family of 4 will be tested 32 times.
For example, your doctor may give you an exception to the eight-time test limit if you need more regular tests for your underlying condition.
For the time being, the problem is finding these home tests in stores. Many pharmacies and online retailers are still sold out or in short supply.
All of the above requirements apply only to people covered by private health insurance.People targeted by Medicare, estimated 18% of the American population, You will not be able to receive the cost of the home test kit refunded by your insurance plan.
However, people covered by the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are eligible for a refund and should check with the state program for details.
The government plans to quickly test a billion homes and distribute N95 face masks directly to Americans. Everyone is eligible, regardless of their health insurance status. Americans will also soon be able to sign up for mailing the test to them.
On Friday, the White House announced a federal website where Americans can request a free COVID-19 test. Start accepting orders on Wednesday, January 19th. Supply is limited to only four free tests per home.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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How to Get a Free Home COVID Test Under the New Government Program
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