The Biden Administration announced Monday new details on how Americans can get free COVID-19 tests and also get reimbursed if they purchase their own over-the-counter home COVID-19 tests.
“Beginning January 15, 2022, individuals with private health insurance coverage or covered by a group health plan who purchase an over-the-counter COVID-19 diagnostic test authorized, cleared, or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be able to have those test costs covered by their plan or insurance,” Health and Human Services said in a news release.
According to White House officials, insurance companies will be required to cover eight free over-the-counter at-home tests per individual per month.
“We are requiring insurers and group health plans to make tests free for millions of Americans. This is all part of our overall strategy to ramp-up access to easy-to-use, at-home tests at no cost,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra stated in a news release Monday.
The Biden administration said they will buy another 500 million at-home COVID-19 tests for Americans. There is no specific date as to when these at-home COVID-19 tests are to arrive, but are expected to be delivered in February.
As for Biden’s plan, the government will use the U.S. Post Office to deliver these tests. Biden also said the White House will make high-quality masks that will be free for everyone.
“We are ensuring that the tests contracted arrive as quickly as they are manufactured by the companies, and then immediately made available to the American people,” a White House official said.
Mark Dimondstein, the president of the American Postal Workers Union, said the Postal Service will keep up to 7,000 seasonal workers at 43 sites across the country to help with the packaging and labeling.
“This is absolutely feasible … as fast as the orders come in, the Postal Service should be able to handle it,” Dimondstein said. “We’re very excited, and at the end of the day, we’re here to serve the people of the country and we’re dedicated to that mission.”
People will be able to get these free at-home COVID-19 tests at their preferred pharmacies. The Biden administration is also working on a website where people can order their free test online.
The Kern County Public Health Services Department has some additional layers of protection that include:
• Getting vaccinated against COVID-19
• Getting your COVID-19 booster as soon as eligible
• Wearing a mask while in indoor public settings
• Staying home when sick or exposed to COVID-19
• Washing your hands often
• Get tested before gathering or traveling
• Gather outside or increase ventilation when indoors