Biden orders private payers to cover at-home COVID tests

By staff writers

January 10, 2022 -- The Biden administration has issued a new rule requiring private insurance companies and group health plans to cover the cost of at-home tests for COVID-19. The move is part of the administration's effort to improve access to free tests.

The move comes as the spread of the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 is putting a strain on testing capacity in the U.S. Many testing labs are overstretched, and consumers are finding it increasingly difficult to find over-the-counter COVID-19 tests.

Under the proposal, starting on January 15 people who have private health insurance coverage or who are covered by a group health plan will be reimbursed by their carrier for purchasing over-the-counter COVID-19 tests. The rule only applies to tests that have been authorized, cleared, or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The rule requires a carrier to cover eight over-the-counter tests per month, meaning a family of four could have up to 32 tests paid for per month. Consumers can go online to a pharmacy or store and either get paid up front by their insurance carrier or be reimbursed by submitting a claim.

There is no limit on the number of tests that can be paid for if they are ordered by a healthcare provider as part of a clinical assessment.

Testing is 1 of 3 steps to achieve a 'new normal' with COVID-19
How can the U.S. learn to live with COVID-19? Better diagnostic testing is one of three steps that need to happen to achieve a "new normal," a state characterized...
Is continual testing for COVID-19 realistic?
New research out of Germany suggests that continual surveillance testing for COVID-19 in daycare settings is not only realistic but accepted by children,...
COVID-19 tests drove increase in Medicare spending in 2020
Spending on COVID-19 diagnostic tests drove an increase in Medicare Part B spending in 2020, while spending for non-COVID-19 lab tests saw a "sharp decline"...
U.S. House passes bill to mitigate cuts to lab services, Medicare
Large cuts in clinical laboratory services would be delayed as part of a U.S. House of Representatives bill that passed on December 7. The legislation...
BARDA seeks proposals for at-home SARS-CoV-2 tests
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) is seeking proposals from researchers to develop at-home, over-the-counter tests for...

Copyright © 2022

Last Updated bc 1/11/2022 7:32:40 AM

Subscribe Today
Do you want to be a Microbiology Insider?

When LabPulse gets hot new information, our Insiders are the first to find out. Stay current in today's competitive market by receiving our exclusive free email updates.

Yes, Keep Me Current