At-home COVID-19 tests being covered by insurance companies

MARYLAND- Free at home Covid-19 tests, it’s an initiative the Biden Administration is pushing for to create more access.
“Removing the cost barrier thats associated with the at home tests, I think it’s a great idea to increase availability and remove as many barriers as possible,” Zach Sherr, the Director of Store Operations at Apple Discount Drugs, said.
Starting Saturday, private health insurers and group health plans are required to cover the cost of up to 8 at-home covid-19 tests per month for people on their plans.
“I think once they found out that these are going to be able to be paid for from their insurance company they are going to want it and they are going to want it now,” Sherr said.
If you’re covered by your plan, there’s several options to buy a test. Whether that be online, go to a pharmacy, or a store. You then either get it paid for up front by your health plan, or get reimbursed for the cost by submitting a claim.¬†While this could be positive, pharmacies said there’s still a problem.
“Once the supply chain issues are worked out, I think it definitely will make a difference, but there’s going to be a period of time where it could be a month to a couple of months until those supply chain issues are worked out, it’s really not going to make a difference at all,” Craig Schury, the owner of Pemberton Pharmacy, said.
The Director of Store Operations at Apple Discount Drugs agrees.
“To fall in line with the a Bluecross Blueshield associate said I think it’s going to cause frustration and more consumer friction because people are going to want the availability to these tests and the supply chain hasn’t caught up to it yet,” Sherr said.
And, while time is ticking for plans to be put into place, there’s still details that need to ironed out. But until that happens, pharmacies we spoke with are staying optimistic.
“The reimbursement part of it is kind of a question mark, you know if you buy them somewhere else you know how do you get reimbursed and then for us if we are giving them away for free you know how do we get reimbursed,” Schury said. “So, a lot of the details still need to be worked out, but it sounds like they are on the right path to being able to make them more accessible and once they do I think that will really be a help.”
Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, Maryland