How to get reimbursed for your at-home COVID test

Coronavirus

FILE – Youngstown City Health Department worker Faith Terreri grabs two at-home COVID-19 test kits to be handed out during a distribution event, Dec. 30, 2021, in Youngstown, Ohio. Starting Saturday, private health insurers will be required to cover up to eight home COVID-19 tests per month for those on their plans, the Biden administration announced Monday, as it looks to lower costs and make testing for the virus more convenient amid rising frustrations. (AP Photo/David Dermer, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Starting Saturday, health insurance companies will be required to reimburse people for purchasing at-home COVID-19 tests.

People with a health plan can purchase test kits authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration online or in-store.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said there may not be costs upfront if your health plan provider has preferred test kit providers.

CMS said if your health care provider does not have a preferred pharmacy or vendor, keep your receipt.

You will need it to submit a claim with your insurer for reimbursement.

Even if your health care provider has a preferred supplier, they are required to reimburse you for testing kits purchases elsewhere but not for the full amount.

Your health plan provider is only required to reimburse you up to $12 per individual test or the cost of the test if it is less than $12.

Insurers are required to cover eight individual at-home over-the-counter COVID-19 tests per person enrolled in the plan per month.

What if your health insurer doesn’t have a plan for preferred retailers for at-home tests?

CMS said your insurer is still required to reimburse you for the full cost of the test if they don’t a plan in place or have not announced a plan.

If you buy a two-pack of tests for $34, CMS said your insurer would reimburse you for $34. Again, hold on that your receipt for reimbursement.

If you have an insurer, check with them to see if they have a plan. It may end up saving you a few dollars or the headache of filing a claim and waiting for that money to come through.

Can I get a free at-home test without insurance?

At this point, at-home tests are not free for people without insurance.

The Biden Administration has a plan to make 500 million over-the-counter at-home tests available for free but those tests are not available yet.

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