How 13 payers are handling at-home COVID-19 test reimbursement

Six of the nation's 13 largest payers currently offer direct coverage for at-home COVID-19 tests, according to a Jan. 20 Kaiser Family Foundation study

HHS announced Jan. 10 that payers must cover at-home COVID-19 tests effective Jan. 15. However, insurers raised concerns that the quick turnaround to implement coverage and reimbursement policies would lead to a messy rollout. 

The study reviewed publicly available at-home COVID-19 test reimbursement policies from 13 insurers between Jan. 18-20.

Six insurers offered members direct coverage for tests, allowing members to purchase tests without upfront costs without the need to go through a reimbursement process. 

Of these six insurers, five have posted steps members can take to get reimbursed if a test was purchased outside of the payer's preferred network. Five insurers outlined that payers may only be reimbursed up to $12 per test for purchasing at-home COVID-19 tests outside of preferred networks. 

The remaining seven insurers implemented reimbursement processes: four opted on mail or fax filing, two opted for online filing and one opted for non-specified methods for members to be reimbursed. 

A full list of how the 13 insurers are handling test coverage can be found here.

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