Private insurers will have to cover the cost of over-the-counter Covid-19 tests starting Saturday under a Biden administration plan that aims to make it more affordable for people to screen for infections and limit the spread of the Omicron variant.
The policy outlined Monday by the administration means that millions of people with private health insurance can expect insurers to reimburse them for up to eight tests a month per covered individual, or that they will be able to purchase them at no cost through their insurance.
Consumers with private insurance will be able to obtain the tests without any cost sharing such as deductibles, coinsurance or copayments, according to the new policy. A family of four, all on the same health plan, would be able to be reimbursed by their insurance for 32 tests a month, for example.
The Biden administration is encouraging insurers and group health plans to set up partnerships with specific retailers and pharmacies so people can get free over-the-counter tests directly, without paying anything upfront or having to submit a claim for reimbursement.