Although rates of Covid hospitalizations have been steadily declining, the pandemic is not yet over and there is still a danger of becoming infected with the virus. For this reason, it is important to stay vigilant and get tested if you have any symptoms or come into contact with someone who has Covid. But fortunately, getting tested for Covid is now a little bit easier: a few weeks ago, President Biden issued a directive requiring health insurance companies to cover at-home Covid test kits. Americans can now have access to free at-home tests, but how many will your insurance cover?
How Many Tests Are Covered?
Last month, the Biden Administration mandated that health insurance companies help cover the cost of 8 at-home antigen tests per household per month. In addition, if you are told by your doctor that you need to get tested more often because of underlying conditions, there is no limit on how many tests your insurance will cover.
In order to get the free tests, you will need to purchase them at any store where they are available and then apply for reimbursement from your health insurance company. It is important to note, though, that most insurers will only reimburse you up to $12 per test, which means you’ll have to pay for the rest out-of-pocket.
Several states are also issuing free COVID-19 tests to residents, including Colorado, Iowa, Connecticut, Washington, New Jersey, Maryland, Ohio, Oregon, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
In addition, you can get 4 free Covid test kits by requesting them online at covidtests.gov, or by calling 1-800-232-0233. If you order your tests this way, you can expect to receive them in 7 to 12 days.
How Much Are The Tests?
At-home Covid tests can be found at pharmacies like Walmart, Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens, and even online at Amazon. The price varies depending on the type and the brand, but tests generally cost around $10 to $25 per kit, with two tests per kit. Currently, most Walgreens and CVS stores are selling Abbott’s BinaxNow and Quidel’s QuickVue tests (two of the first tests authorized by the Food and Drug Administration) for $24 for a pack of two.
What If You Don’t Have Health Insurance?
If you don’t have health insurance or any kind of coverage, you can order your 4 free tests; there will also be locations where you can pick up free at-home Covid tests. According to the Biden Administration, those without insurance will soon be able to access test kits at community health clinics and other local sites.
What If You Test Positive At Home?
If you take an at-home test and test positive, it is recommended that you share the results with your doctor or medical provider. You should also isolate for at least five days after getting your positive test result, and stay home until you are no longer symptomatic.