NC insurance commissioner on free at-home test plan: ‘There’s been confusion from the beginning’


RALEIGH N.C. (WNCN) – Starting Saturday, insurance companies will start covering the cost of over-the-counter tests,  but how much you actually get back will depend on your plan and where you find the test.

First, check if your insurance company has a list of preferred pharmacies or online sellers, that’s where you could get the test kit for no cost upfront, or reimbursed later up to $12 per kit if bought outside that list.

If the insurer doesn’t have a list of preferred pharmacies, you’ll have to pay, but still keep your receipt. File a reimbursement claim for the full cost of the test.

“There’s been confusion from the beginning,” North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey said. “Many of the insurers that I’ve talked with are confused about how they should handle things.”

Causey said he wants to see free tests for those who need it but doesn’t want opportunity abused.

“What we don’t want to see is people rushing out to get free Covid tests that don’t need those tests and then end up selling those online,” Causey said.

He also worries that hometown pharmacies could be left out of preferred vendor lists.

“We have some counties in the state that have none of the preferred pharmacies in those counties, they depend on those small independent community pharmacies,” Causey said.

The federal guidelines limit the reimbursements up to eight over-the-counter tests per person per month.

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