The government has announced free COVID tests for everyone, and every insurance company is expected to pay the cost of up to eight tests each month. As per the renewed policy, the people with Medicare Part B (outpatient care coverage), including Advantage Plan enrollees, will be able to get up to eight over-the-counter tests per month for free from participating pharmacies and health-care providers.
The initiative comes after Medicare was left out of the Biden administration’s January mandate that private insurers cover the cost of at home Covid tests (also up to eight per month). It is for the very first time that Medicare has announced to cover a self-administered, over-the-counter test at no cost to beneficiaries.
Are you confused about the process of getting free at-home Covid test or lack the right information about making a claim, etc. – we’ve got you back by putting together all the information you might need in this blog post! Continue reading to learn how to obtain your free at-home COVID tests and save yourself the trouble.
How to Get a Free COVID Test at Home?
Everything appeared to be returning to normal last year, but then Omicron and other variants appeared, necessitating the need to offer residents with OTC COVID testing. The Biden administration took the free Covid test effort to assure testing availability across the country.
- Any residence in the United States, including US territories and military addresses, may get four free tests.
- If you have direct coverage via your health plan, the test will be free at the point of sale, or you will be reimbursed if you are charged for OTC COVID testing. Keep your receipts if you need to submit a claim to your insurance company for compensation. Insurance companies are obligated to pay you up to $12 for each test.
- Furthermore, you may get your free COVID exam online at covidtests.gov. The tests can take up to seven to twelve days to arrive. However, it is best to purchase them ahead of time if you need to get tested right away. Although you cannot choose the brand of your testing kit, the site says the free COVID tests are FDA-approved and utilized for quick antigen testing.
Will I Have To Pay For My At-Home Covid Test In Advance?
The Biden-Harris Administration is strongly encouraging health plans and insurers to establish a network of convenient locations across the country, such as pharmacies or retailers, where people with private health insurance can order online or walk in and pick up at-home over-the-counter COVID-19 tests for free rather than having to submit claims for reimbursement.
Consumers can find out from their plan or insurer if such a programme provides direct coverage of over-the-counter COVID-19 testing or whether they must file a claim for reimbursement. If you are charged for your test after January 15, save your receipt and file a refund claim to your insurance carrier.
There are a few things to consider here:
- The insurance would not cover the cost of over-the-counter COVID test kits required by your workplace or school.
- People who do not have private insurance are likewise not eligible for compensation.
- Furthermore, persons enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan should read the plan’s terms and conditions. Although Medicare participants and individuals without insurance are still eligible for free in-person testing (with certain limits), they are not eligible for free at-home COVID exams.
How Much Will I Have To Pay If I Buy It First And Then Make A Claim To My Insurance Company?
If you pay for an over-the-counter COVID-19 test from a pharmacy, store, or internet retailer, save your receipt and claim your insurance provider for reimbursement. For example, if you pay $34 for a two-pack of tests, your plan or insurance will be bound to paying you a refund a refund of $34.
COVID’s Free Rapid Test Program
If you start experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have had close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the virus, you should be tested. But how does the program function?
Individuals can acquire free at-home COVID test kits from the government’s official website. You may also obtain an OTC COVID test from a pharmacy or retailer (over-the-counter COVID test). The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved these tests, which are considered safe to use and effective in positively identifying the COVID strain.
According to the plan, the Biden-Harris administration plans to give away over 500 million OTC COVID tests for free to people around the country. Americans with private health insurance can also have the at-home COVID testing for free or have the expenses repaid.
Who Is Eligible for the Covid Test Program?
Under the initiative, all US citizens are entitled to request free at-home COVID 19 tests and have them delivered to retail stores or pharmacies in their neighborhood. The sole restriction here is the number of tests that a single home may obtain since each household is only entitled to order four free COVID test kits. If a member of the same household attempts to request more tests for the same address, their order will be tagged as “duplicate” and will not be completed.
Individuals living in flats and multi-unit condominiums have reported being stopped from getting tests after other occupants had placed their requests. If you are experiencing this problem, you can register a request online. After you submit your order, you will get the test within 7-12 days from US Postal Service.
How Can I Get Paid for Free Covid Tests?
Reimbursements for free COVID testing are only available to people who have commercial, employer-sponsored, or student health insurance, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Each month, insurers must pay the cost of eight tests per covered person, allowing a family of four to get a total of 32 free COVID test kits at home. Furthermore, you do not require a doctor’s prescription to obtain them.
If you paid for your OTC COVID test in advance, you might have to go through your health insurance’s standard claim submission and reimbursement process. Most of the time, beneficiaries of these testing kits must submit a claim form with a copy of their receipt. Depending on your carrier, you can claim the cost of your Covid test via the website, fax, or email.
It should be mentioned that your insurance provider may establish its own reimbursement and coverage policies. For more information on the free COVID testing, contact your personal health insurance provider.
How Many Tests Am I Eligible For Reimbursement For?
Each month, health insurers must cover eight individual at-home over-the-counter COVID-19 tests per person enrolled in the plan. That means a family of four may get 32 free tests every month.
It should be noted that tests can be packed separately or in groups of numerous tests (for example, two tests packaged in one box). Plans must cover at least eight tests per insured individual every month, regardless of how they are packaged or provided.
When prescribed or delivered by a health care professional, there is no limit to the number of COVID-19 diagnostic tests, including at-home testing, that must be covered.
What If A Person Does Not Have Insurance?
We have discussed how folks who are covered by insurance can obtain free COVID exams. However, if you do not have insurance, you need not be concerned because some community health centers provide free at-home COVID test kits to those who do not have it.
In addition, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will distribute up to 50 million free OTC COVID tests to community health centers and Medicare-certified health clinics for free distribution to patients and community members. The program’s purpose is to make COVID-19 tests available to persons and settings that require them, particularly those who are most at severe risk of COVID-19.
All Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-supported health centers and Medicare-certified rural health clinics will be able to participate in the program after the onboarding process is completed.
Furthermore, the Department of Health and Human Services has established over 10,000 free community-based pharmacy testing facilities around the country. In response to the Omicron surge, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are also building fast testing sites around the country.
Just a little tip: while looking for OTC COVID test kits, pay close attention to the pricing for each test. As at-home testing kits are difficult to get in traditional or online stores, retailers on platforms such as Amazon may hike prices when availability is limited. Another critical factor to consider is that you will not be fully reimbursed if the test cost exceeds $12 per test.
Cost of an OTC COVID Test
An at-home test typically costs between $10 and $30. This may be rather costly for bigger families with regular testing requirements. Fortunately for these people, if your private insurance company covers them, you can have your testing for free. Community health facilities in your region may also provide you with a free COVID test. Individuals can also obtain free COVID at-home testing if their employer provides insurance.
Insurance to Cover Your Home Tests
Insurance companies and group health plans will cover the expenses of at-home COVID testing, according to HHS (the Department of Health and Human Services). This assures that those with private healthcare have simple access to the tests, which will lead to the program’s coverage expanding. This implies that customers may order the test online or purchase it at a pharmacy or store. You should keep your receipts after you have purchased them!
It would allow you to claim with your insurance company and be reimbursed for the expense, or you may have your health plan pay for it upfront. (Contact your insurance carrier and inquire about their direct coverage policy or whether they require claim submissions.) According to these laws, consumers do not need to order the tests from their healthcare providers and can instead obtain them for free through their insurance.
Furthermore, your insurance providers will be obligated to fund 8 free OTC COVID tests every month for each individual. So, if you have a family of four on the same plan, you may have up to 32 tests every month.. Those with underlying medical issues or those undergoing a personalized clinical assessment by their health care professionals may receive as many additional tests as they require.
Not only that, but the initiative incentivizes insurance companies and group health plans to set up programs to help customers obtain OTC Covid tests directly from selected pharmacies and outside shops. Insurance will still cover the price of tests obtained outside of the network (up to $12 per test; any amount beyond that will have to be paid out of pocket by you).
Another thing to keep in mind is that your test kit must be approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), or your insurance plan may not cover it.
Sign Up for Medicare Premium Insurance Providers
Medicare is a leading government healthcare insurance provider in the United States, assisting individuals and families in enrolling in appropriate health insurance plans. Since its establishment in 2009, Medicare has assisted consumers in connecting with the most cost-effective, dependable, and inexpensive medical insurance. You, too, may connect with the appropriate insurance plan for your requirements that covers your healthcare expenditures, including free over-the-counter COVID tests, with the aid of Medicare.
Medicare has a health insurance program for those 65 and older, people with certain impairments, people who live at home, and others who are more vulnerable to health problems. The insurance program contributes to the cost of at-home COVID tests administered by community health centers and Medicare-certified health clinics.
Furthermore, if you are unable to complete the test on your own and require the aid of a medical expert, the program will pay the costs. As per the latest policies, a US citizen aged above 65 who’s enrolled in the Medicare program is eligible to get up to 8 Covid at-home tests for absolutely free every month.
By registering in the insurance program, you will not only have quick access to the healthcare you require when you need it, but you will also save money in the long term. We not only have extensive knowledge in the sector, but we will also provide you with the best healthcare insurance policies to meet your needs! For additional information, visit the website or contact an insurance professional now!