Americans will soon be able to get free Covid tests at home

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Who can get free tests?

The White House said that 150 million Americans Those with private health insurance will be eligible for a full refund after they purchase a Covid test at home. That includes people insured by their employer, as well as people who bought a plan on the Affordable Care Act marketplace, Dawson said.

The new rules do not apply to those on Medicaid and Medicare, although that could change, and those on Medicare with private insurance may be covered.

Short-term or shared health care plans usually don’t have to cover your tests, Sabrina Corlette, co-director of the Center for Health Insurance Reform at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy.

Covid tests at home also a valid expense for flexible savings accounts and health savings accounts.

Can I get any tests?

Experts say we will have to wait for more guidance from the government to see what will be covered, but they expect that most at-home tests available at pharmacies will be included in the policy. .

How do I make sure I get reimbursed by the insurance company?

Dawson says:

Many people may not even be familiar with their provider’s return policy. (You can start learning about it by contacting your package.)

It is important that you keep your receipts, said Caitlin Donovan, a spokesperson for the Patient Advocacy Foundation

“Your normal receipt should be fine – I even printed a receipt from Amazon – and then you’ll have to send it in,” says Donovan, adding that insurers often have a chargeback form they want you to fill out.

“Insurance companies will usually have a physical mailing address,” she said. “They may also have an option to send it electronically, which means you can upload it to their website or send it by email.”

To make submitting a receipt simpler, Donovan recommends asking the cashier to call checks separate from additional purchases.

Corlette hopes government guidance in January requires insurers to reimburse people within a certain time frame.

“It can take a long time for some companies to cut those checks,” Corlette said.

What if I don’t have insurance?

If you’re uninsured or if you’re covered through Medicaid and Medicare, the White House said it would double the number of free tests distributed across community centers to 50 million, from 25 million.

You can find one of these centers at your state or local health agency’s website, says Corlette.

When should I use the home test?

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Dawson cited some of the most common cases where people might want to self-test for the virus: They’ve been in contact with someone diagnosed with Covid, they have symptoms of the virus, or they are expected to attend a high-risk event, such as a large family gathering, or a meeting with an immunocompromised person.

Can I use the home test for commuting purposes? Americans will soon be able to get free Covid tests at home

Emma James

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