How To Get Your At-Home Covid Tests Reimbursed – Forbes Advisor

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With a surge in Covid-19 cases expected this winter, now is the time to stock up on free, at-home testing.

The federal government’s free at-home Covid testing program was suspended in September, but there are still ways to get free Covid-19 tests. Americans with private health insurance can have up to eight tests per month reimbursed by their insurers for themselves and each person on their plan.

What the at-home refund policy covers

Insurance companies and group health insurance companies have been obliged to cover the costs of over-the-counter Covid-19 tests at home since the beginning of 2022.

Test reimbursement is available to people with private, employer-sponsored, or student health insurance. Medicare Part B also covers up to 8 free at-home Covid-19 tests each month and will continue to pay until the health emergency is declared over by the Department of Health and Human Services. Medicaid coverage rules vary by state.

Americans with private health insurance can get tests for free online or at select pharmacies and retailers by showing proof of insurance. Alternatively, they can purchase test kits and submit reimbursement requests.

If you get a Covid booster at certain pharmacies, you may be asked if you would like to order free tests and pick them up at your booster appointment.

The policy only covers over-the-counter Covid-19 tests that are authorized and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Insurers must cover the cost of eight tests per insured person each month. For example, a family of four may request 32 tests. You don’t need a prescription from your doctor to qualify, and tests ordered by a healthcare provider – e.g. B. for someone with underlying medical conditions – are not subject to the reimbursement limit.

If an insurer offers insured persons the opportunity to receive a test without a deductible – e.g. B. through a preferred pharmacy or retailer – this is your best option to get free test kits.

Otherwise, you must purchase the test and then apply to your insurance company. If the insurance company has a process for you to purchase the tests with no upfront cost, they only have to reimburse $12 per test. If not, the full cost of the test must be covered, even if it is more than $12.

Each test is counted separately, even if multiple tests are sold in one package. For example, a two-test package could be eligible for a refund of up to $24.

Here you can find out what you need to know about the reimbursement policies of the five largest health insurance companies.

Aetna Home Covid Test Reimbursement

Refund details: If you have health insurance through Aetna, the insurer has an easy to navigate page that details their reimbursement policy.

What is Covered: There is no mention of a preferred pharmacy or retailer for obtaining a test, although Aetna is part of CVS Health, which owns the pharmacy chain. Laboratory-based home collection PCR kits are not covered by the reimbursement policy.

How to get a refund: According to Aetna, members with pharmacy benefits can submit reimbursement requests through their Aetna member website. After logging into your account, select “Learn more about test kits and reimbursement” for more information. Only tests purchased on or after January 15, 2022 are eligible for a refund.

Remarkable: Aetna states that “tests must be used to diagnose potential Covid-19 infection” and tests used for employment, school or leisure purposes are non-refundable.

Company information: Insureds have several options for contacting the company for more information on reimbursement for their at-home Covid-19 tests.

UnitedHealthcare Home Covid test refund

Refund details: If you have health insurance through UnitedHealthcare, the insurer offers an FAQ page that provides some details about coverage for home testing.

Benefits Covered: Specific benefits related to reimbursement for at-home Covid testing depend on your specific health plan and how your employer has chosen to administer the benefit. The FAQ page recommends registrants log on to to learn more about their specific benefits.

How to get a refund: Members should log into their online accounts for more information on submitting refund requests.

Remarkable: Members can claim up to eight kits per insured person every 30 days.

Company information: UnitedHealthcare’s FAQ page is vague. Insured persons have various options for contacting the company if they have further questions.

Anthem Home Covid Test Reimbursement

Refund details: If you have health insurance through Anthem, the insurer has a simple page that explains how their reimbursement policy works.

What is covered: Certain Anthem members may be able to order at-home diagnostic test kits either through the insurer’s Sydney Health app or online. If you are eligible, you will be presented with this option after logging in. Otherwise, Anthem members can purchase test kits from pharmacies or retailers and submit a refund request. Anthem doesn’t mention the ability to get tests at no upfront cost through a preferred pharmacy or retailer.

How to get a refund: If you’re not among the limited number of Anthem members who can order tests online, you’ll need to pay for the kits and submit a refund request. You will need a copy of your receipt to submit an application online through the Member Portal on Anthem’s website.

Remarkable: Anthem continues to encourage members to use in-person diagnostic Covid-19 testing centers and is offering members a testing site locator.

Company information: Insured members have several options for contacting the company for more information on reimbursement for at-home Covid tests.

Cigna Home Covid test refund

Refund details: If you have health insurance through Cigna, the insurer has a simple FAQ page that explains how their reimbursement policy works. Members can log into their accounts to submit a refund request online.

What is covered: Cigna offers a refund for test kits that members purchase. Members applying for reimbursement may be required to sign a certification stating that the test was purchased for a member of the covered plan, is not for employment purposes, has not been and will not be reimbursed from any other source, and is not for resale.

How to get a refund: Cigna members must submit a refund request online, by fax, or by mail. The form contains a checklist of suitable test kits. The above certificate and asks for your information, such as B. your Cigna ID number. Cigna advises that certain plan providers may require additional documentation such as the UPC code for the test.

Remarkable: Cigna says it does not include Telehealth Proctor Supervised BinaxNOW testing in its reimbursement plan.

Company information: Insured Members have a number of options for contacting the Company for more information on how to get their home Covid testing reimbursed.

Kaiser Permanente Home Covid Test Reimbursement

Refund details: If you have health insurance through Kaiser Permanente, the insurer has a detailed Covid-19 testing page that provides some information about their reimbursement policy.

What is covered: Kaiser Permanente members can each order four home tests free of charge. Otherwise, members can pick up self-tests free of charge from Kaiser Permanente pharmacies or submit a refund request for purchased test kits.

How to get a refund: Kaiser members must submit a claim online with details of the tests purchased and proof of payment, which may include an itemized invoice showing the date of service and proof of payment such as a receipt or bank statement. The insurer doesn’t say how quickly members will be reimbursed.

Remarkable: In some cases, you may be able to return a saliva home collection kit to Kaiser Permanente for processing. This test is available to asymptomatic members who are in close contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19 or who have been recommended a test by their doctor.

Company information: Insured persons have various options for contacting the company.

Other options for Covid-19 testing

The Biden administration sent free home Covid-19 tests to households who requested them earlier this year, but the program was suspended in September when Congress failed to allocate more funding for it.

With the government no longer sending free tests to Americans, using the insurance reimbursement program is the best way to get your Covid tests at home for free. Some pharmacy loyalty programs even track your 30-day deadline and notify you when you can order more tests.

cvs receipt

CVS email to a rewards member reminding them they can now order up to eight additional Covid-19 tests at no cost through insurance reimbursement.

If you don’t have insurance, you’ll need to look for a free or low-cost testing location. The CDC notes that some health centers offer testing services to eligible individuals regardless of ability to pay, and will provide a sliding scale for costs based on income and family size.

Use this CDC tool to find a testing location near you.

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