As COVID cases have surged across the United States due to the new Omicron variant, the Biden Administration has stepped up efforts to expand testing capacity including by making at-home COVID tests more available.
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This policy watch provides an early look at how top private insurers are implementing a new requirement to cover the cost of at-home COVID-19 tests. Initially about half offer a direct coverage option and half require an enrollee to pay upfront and then seek reimbursement.
Less than a week after a new federal mandate to cover such products took effect, about half of the nation’s largest private insurers allow enrollees to directly obtain rapid at-home COVID-19 tests from specific sources without having to pay anything upfront, a new KFF analysis finds. The new coverage requirement…
The Biden Administration’s requirement for private insurers to cover the cost of at-home rapid COVID-19 tests for their enrollees does not apply to Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans (offered by private insurers) have the option to cover at-home tests but are not required to do so. This policy watch examines whether some of the largest private Medicare Advantage plans are covering the cost of at-home rapid tests for COVID-19.
This data note explores findings from on an 8-day online search for at home COVID-19 tests at major retailers. The findings are described against the backdrop of the Biden Administration policy requiring plans to cover the cost of these tests. We find that these tests remain hard to find and that this limited availability could negatively affect the success of the reimbursement strategy.
Implications of the Lapse in Federal COVID-19 Funding on Access to COVID-19 Testing, Treatment, and Vaccines
A current impasse in Congress threatens continued funding for COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccines. The lack of additional federal COVID-19 funding has broad implications for access to these services, particularly for the uninsured, and could undermine efforts to ensure equitable access to these resources.
Community Health Centers Are A Key Source of COVID-19 Rapid At-Home Self-Tests For Hard-To-Reach Groups
As part of an effort to promote equitable access to tests, the Biden administration launched a testing supply program that has set aside 25 million rapid at-home self-test kits for distribution by community health centers. Under the program, health centers will be distributing self-tests to patients and community members, with a focus on populations at greatest risk from adverse outcomes related to COVID-19.
In this brief, we examine the various interrelated factors that have contributed to rapid home test scarcity in the U.S. There are several interrelated factors that impact the availability of rapid home COVID-19 tests. These range from the regulatory environment to the supply chain to federal investment and messaging to affordability.
In this commentary for Barron’s, Cynthia Cox and Lindsey Dawson examine the cost and availability of at-home COVID-19 tests and how the new Biden administration policy requiring private insurances to cover their costs may work.
This interactive table includes vendors selling at-home SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic tests that have received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).