Most Americans with private insurance can buy home tests online or in stores and have them paid for at the time of buy or get reimbursed by submitting a claim to their insurer. So make sure you save your receipts.
The tests won’t be unprotected to copays or deductibles.
Insurers may set up a network of preferred stores, pharmacies and online retailers where consumers can receive tests at no cost up front. People could nevertheless buy tests outside that network, but insurers would only have to reimburse up to $12 for each one.
Consumers should contact their insurers to find out if they provide direct coverage or if claims must be submitted.
Do I need a doctor’s order or prescription?
No, you will not need to visit a doctor to get the free tests.
How many tests can I get?
Insurers must pay for up to eight tests per covered individual per month. So a family of four could get 32 tests each month, for example.
What about all the tests I bought before Saturday? Can I get reimbursed for them?
Sorry, but only tests bought starting January 15 qualify.
Where can I find a home test?
It’s one reason why the Biden administration plans to spread free home tests soon. President Joe Biden on Thursday announced he was doubling the number that will be obtainable to 1 billion.
Several states have also ordered home tests to be distributed free to residents, but supplies have been limited.
How do I get one of those free federal tests?
Americans can go to a new website, covidtests.gov, to order the tests, starting January 19. Tests are expected to ship within seven to 12 days of being ordered.
Initially, there will be a limit of four tests per residential household.
The White House will also set up a hotline for those who cannot order online but has not however announced a set afloat date for it.
What if I’m on Medicare?
Medicare covers at no charge Covid-19 testing done in a lab when ordered by a medical specialized.
Those enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans should check with their insurers to see if the costs of the home tests will be covered.
What if I’m on Medicaid?
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP, already cover home tests with no cost-sharing.
But enrollees should contact their state agencies for specific coverage details.
What if I’m uninsured?
The uninsured can get free home tests from certain community health centers. They can also request tests by the federal program once it becomes obtainable.
Also, the Department of Health and Human sets is providing up to 50 million free home tests to community health centers and Medicare-certified health clinics for dispensing to patients and the community.
HHS also has established more than 10,000 free community-based pharmacy testing sites around the country.
This story has been updated with additional details Friday.
CNN’s Maegan Vazquez contributed to this report.
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