How to get the free home Covid test promised by the White House

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Tens of millions of Americans should soon have access to free home Covid tests.

The White House made an announcement in fear of a new variant of the coronavirus. Cases of this variant, called omicron, have already occurred in California, Minnesota, Colorado, and New York.

Takeaway tests are already free in other countries. For example, UK citizens can order from the government website to send a pack of quick diagnostics to their home for free.

Americans could get a free Covid test at a doctor or hospital, but they usually had to pay for a home test, which was around $ 15 to $ 40.

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Health experts have expressed optimism about the new policy.

Lindsey Dawson, Associate Director of the Kaiser Family Foundation, said:

According to Dawson, it’s unclear exactly when the new compensation will begin, and previously purchased tests are unlikely to be refundable.

The details of the new plan are thin, and the Biden administration has promised further guidance by mid-January. But this is what we know now.

Who are you targeting?

The White House states that 150 million Americans with private health insurance are eligible for a full refund after making a purchase on their home Covid test.

According to Dawson, this includes not only those who are insured by their employers, but also those who have purchased plans in the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

The new rules do not apply to Medicaid and Medicare rules, but are subject to change and may be subject to Medicare rules with private insurance.

Sabrina Collet, co-director of the Health Insurance Reform Center at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, said short-term or health care sharing plans wouldn’t usually need to cover them.

Can I take the test?

Experts said they needed to wait for further guidance from the government to find out which ones would be covered, but hope that most home-based tests available at pharmacies will be included in the policy.

How can I ensure that I get a refund from my insurance company?

According to Dawson, it will probably take some effort to get the repayment.

Many may not be familiar with the provider’s redemption policy. (You can start learning about it by contacting your plan.)

Keep your receipts, said Kaitlin Donovan, a spokeswoman for the Patient Advocacy Foundation.

“Regular receipts should be fine. I printed the receipt from Amazon and need to send it,” said Donovan, who usually has a refund form that they want to fill out. I added.

“Insurers usually have a real mailing address,” she said. “They may also have the option of electronic submission, which means you can upload it to their site or email it.”

To send a simpler receipt, Donovan recommends asking the cashier to call the test separately from the additional purchase.

Corlett hopes that the government’s guidance in January will require insurance companies to make refunds to people within a certain period of time.

“Some companies can take a long time to reduce these checks,” Corlett said.

The Covid test at home is also an expense covered by flexible savings and health savings accounts.

What if I don’t have insurance?

If not insured, or covered by Medicaid and Medicare, the White House said it would double the amount of free tests distributed to community centers from 25 million to 50 million.

According to Corret, one of these centers should be found on the websites of state or local health agencies.

When should I use the home test?

Dawson quoted some of the most common situations in which people may want to be tested: they have contacted someone diagnosed with Covid, they are showing symptoms of the virus, or They are expected to attend high-risk events, large family gatherings, etc.

Can I use the home test for travel purposes?

For example, most takeaway tests purchased at local Walgreens do not give results that can be used before a flight or cruise. However, according to travel site The Points Guy, there is at least one CDC-approved home test.

How to get the free home Covid test promised by the White House

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