New!  Health Insurance Carriers to Cover Cost for Rapid COVID Tests

by | Jan 19, 2022 | Employee Benefits

On Jan. 10, 2022, the Departments of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services released guidance to support the Administration’s directive that health insurers and group health plans cover, subject to certain criteria, the cost of FDA-authorized or approved over-the-counter (OTC) COVID-19 at home tests beginning on Jan. 15, 2022.

The highly contagious omicron variant continues to spread throughout our communities. Vaccinations and boosters provide the best protection against severe illness from COVID-19. Testing is also an important tool in slowing the spread of COVID-19. While hundreds of thousands of tests are being provided daily in California, demand currently exceeds capacity. Rapid Antigen Home Tests, also called Rapid COVID Tests or Self-tests, offer another way to help reduce the spread. Health plans are now reimbursing their members for these at-home tests.

Following guidance from the Biden administration, medical insurance carriers will now reimburse their members for FDA-approved rapid antigen home tests. Carrier members can submit a reimbursement claim for tests purchased on or after January 15, 2022.

Currently, there is a nationwide shortage of rapid antigen home tests and health care organizations have access to a very limited supply. They are working to make more tests available through various outlets, including online resources and mail-order.


How to Get FDA-approved Rapid Antigen Home Tests

  • Starting January 19th members can request free rapid antigen home tests, without shipping fees, from the Federal Government.
  • Rapid antigen home tests are also available at local drugstores or online. Medical insurance carriers will reimburse their members for FDA-approved rapid antigen home tests purchased on or after January 15th.
  • Visit your carrier’s website for the most up-to-date information on when and where the tests will become available. You may also get more information on FREE tests, which are available via

Guidance on Types of COVID-19 Tests

Rapid Antigen Home Tests are an easy way to obtain a quick result if a member has symptoms, thinks they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or plans to gather indoors with those who may be at risk, including unvaccinated children, older individuals, and those who are immunocompromised. Results are typically available within 30 minutes. Click Here for Information.

PCR Tests are usually processed in a lab and results are typically available in 1-3 days.

Be sure to check with your agent or Contact United Agencies if you have any questions abut this information or require assistance.

Featured Image via Shutterstock

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