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Health insurers to cover cost of at-home COVID-19 tests

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Miami, Florida – Starting this weekend there will be no out-of-pocket expense for take-home COVID-19 tests for people with private health insurance.

The US Department of Health and Human Services announced on Monday that beginning Saturday, Jan. 15th, health insurance companies will have to cover the costs of tests for those in their plans.

People will not need to visit their doctor or get a prescription to obtain the free tests. Insurers must pay for up to eight tests a month per person covered by a policy.

People could still buy tests outside that network, but insurers would only have to reimburse up to $12 for each one.

Any test purchased before January 15th will not qualify for reimbursement.

President Joe Biden announced this move last month, as Americans desperately seek testing amid a surge of the Omicron variant.

“The success of the Biden administration’s requirement that insurers pay for at-home Covid tests will depend, of course, on being able to snag those valuable tests, to begin with,” tweeted Larry Levitt, executive vice president for health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, on Monday.

According to the White House, the administration also is purchasing 500 million at-home tests to be distributed for free. The first tests will start arriving for distribution “early next week”.

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