Biden Announces Insurance Companies Must Reimburse You For At-Home COVID Tests

Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany - 24 april 2021: positive test result of a covid-19 self rapid test at home.
Bihlmayer Fotografie / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Amid a surge of Omicron cases throughout the country and the world, President Joe Biden announced Tuesday, Jan. 4, that as of next week, insurance companies will reimburse the purchases of at-home COVID-19 tests.

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“Next week, our requirement that your insurance company reimburse you for at-home tests takes effect,” Biden said in his speech.

In December, the White House announced it will purchase a half-billion at-home, rapid tests this winter to be distributed for free to Americans who want them, with the initial delivery starting in January 2022.

The administration said it will set up a website where Americans can go to get at-home tests delivered to their home — for free, according to a White House statement at the time.

“And, finally, as I announced recently, the federal government is launching a website this month where you can get tests shipped to your home for free, upon your request,” Biden said on Jan. 4.

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Spectrum News reports that the new insurance rule will be overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services. The at-home tests can range from $7-$15 each, and health experts recommend “serial testing” using multiple tests to confirm one’s result.

Biden added that drugstores and online websites were restocking, as several of them had announced in December that they would be limiting the purchase of tests due to the increased demand.

Walgreens said in a statement in December that it had seen an increase in demand for rapid OTC COVID-19 tests and that it would be working with its suppliers to ensure customers have access to self-test kits through the holidays.

“Due to the incredible demand for at-home rapid testing, we put into effect a four-item purchase limit on at-home COVID-19 testing products in our stores and digital properties in an effort to help improve inventory while we continue to work diligently with our supplier partners to best meet customer demands,” according to the statement at the time, as GOBankingRates previously reported. Walgreens added that some stores may experience a temporary shortage in rapid OTC testing solutions.

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CVS issued a similar statement, saying that tests may be temporarily out of stock at its stores, according to CNN.

“To ensure equitable access to tests both in store and digitally, we’ve added a limit of six test kits per purchase,” the company said at the time.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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