How to get reimbursed for at-home COVID-19 tests
While free in-person COVID-19 tests have been available at health centers and pharmacies nationwide, Americans with private insurance now have the option of free at-home tests too. As of January 15, 2022, private insurance companies must cover up to eight at-home COVID-19 tests per month, per covered individual.
How It Works
Because this is a new guideline, pharmacies and retailers may not have set up the process for running purchases through your insurance quite yet. During the transition, you can submit receipts for your tests to your major medical insurance company for reimbursement.
The Biden administration is encouraging major medical insurers to create networks of preferred pharmacies and retailers so policyholders can get tests with no out-of-pocket costs; the insurer or plan would cover the price upfront at the time of purchase.
Before this requirement, people with Healthcare Flexible Spending Accounts (HCFSAs) or Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) could use their funds to purchase at-home tests. If your reimbursement account is administered through American Fidelity, this is still an option. Of course, you can’t claim reimbursement from both your major medical insurance plus your reimbursement account for the same test; it has to be one or the other.
More to Come
As with any new initiative, there are still details up in the air. Insurance companies will have to determine if they’ll rely on reimbursement requests from policyholders or create preferred networks. While you wait for your carrier to define their next steps, you still have access to tests in your area. Check with your local health department or visit covidtests.gov for more information.
This blog is up to date as of February 2022 and has not been updated for changes in the law, administration or current events.