Since its emergence in November of 2021, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has spread more quickly than any previous variant. With a recent spike resulting from the holiday season, more people and businesses are relying on COVID-19 testing to slow the spread.
At-home Covid tests have been growing in demand and gaining FDA approval. However, for those on a limited budget, with families, or who have to test often, the costs can add up quickly.
Are there ways to save money while staying safe? Yes. This post will answer some common questions regarding the costs of at-home COVID-19 testing and how to take advantage of the government policies in place.
To ensure that both people with and without insurance can help slow the spread of COVID-19, there is a federal program for the uninsured to get Covid tests.
Each U.S. household can order up to four at-home rapid antigen tests for free. These tests ship in seven to ten days and users can see results in thirty minutes. They can also be used regardless of vaccination status and level of symptoms.
This policy encourages insurance companies to develop a network of stores, pharmacies, and online retailers where customers can shop and have at-home tests fully covered. Whether or not they have an established network will affect how much they will reimburse and how customers can get their money back.
Contact your insurance company to find out which sellers are within your network.
If you purchase an at-home COVID-19 test from a seller within your insurance company’s network, then it will be of no cost to you at the point of sale. This is the most convenient way to reduce the cost of taking an at-home COVID-19 test.
If your insurance company has an established network of sellers and you shop outside of that network, then you can still get some of your money back. If you save your receipt and submit it to your insurance provider, they are required to reimburse you for $12 per test of your purchase. If the cost is less than $12 per test, they will reimburse the entire purchase.
If your insurance company does not cover the cost at the point of sale of any sellers, then they are required to provide at-home COVID test reimbursement for the full cost of your purchase. In order to receive your reimbursement, you will need to save your receipt and submit a claim to your insurance provider.
Insurance companies are required to cover or reimburse up to eight tests per month for each plan member. These tests can be bought together or at separate times throughout the month.
If you purchase several tests that are packaged together, you can be covered or reimbursed for each test in the package.
Federal policy does not require insurance providers to reimburse COVID-19 tests purchased before January 15, 2022. However, it is still worth checking with your provider to see if they will reimburse you.
FDA approved at-home rapid COVID-19 tests are included in this policy.
Testing to see whether you are positive for COVID-19 before traveling is not only safer for yourself and others, it is also required by many destinations. Insurance will reimburse these tests, too.
The CDC does not currently offer coverage or reimbursement for COVID-19 testing.
COVID-19 can be spread by individuals who do not experience symptoms and by those who are vaccinated, so testing still plays an important role in keeping communities healthy.
Like all testing methods, at-home COVID-19 tests have their pros and cons. They are very convenient to take when you first suspect you need one (when symptoms develop, after learning of an exposure, and before traveling). However, at-home tests are often less accurate than those done at a testing center.
With over twenty years of experience testing for infectious diseases, BioCollections Worldwide has been at the forefront of developing accurate COVID-19 tests. Click here to learn more about lab testing with quick turnaround times for families and businesses in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Puerto Rico.