White House Says Private Insurance Will Cover OTC COVID-19 Tests

(ConservativeStar.com) – With the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus running rampant across America and around the world, many people are searching high and low for at-home diagnostic tests. President Joe Biden just ordered insurance companies to pay for eight of them per month, per insured individual.

How It Works

Beginning on January 15, 2021, insurers will be required to cover up to $12 per test for covered individuals under their plans in one of two ways. They may set up a network of preferred brick-and-mortar stores where people can pick up a test in person, or use an online site that ships kits directly to the customer. Under this method, there would be no out-of-pocket expense for the cost of the product.

Alternatively, companies can set up a reimbursement process where an insured individual may buy them from any retailer they choose, fill out the appropriate forms online, and provide proof of purchase.

The program only applies to people currently covered under an insurance policy. Those without insurance must bear the cost themselves at this time.

Getting ‘Em Out

In addition to the above program, the Biden administration announced it intends to buy 500 million over-the-counter test kits to ship to any Americans who request them. They hope to have this program up and running sometime in January 2022. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has once again proven himself ahead of President Biden. He has secured 1 million tests with plans to mail them to the citizens of his state, starting with senior citizens.

Manatee County, Florida made 7,500 kits available to residents on a first-come, first-served basis at their libraries on January 5, and supplies were quickly exhausted. All around the nation, people are experiencing frustrations because there’s a shortage of testing supplies on store shelves.

The Darker Side of Human Nature

Unfortunately, in situations like this, some less than scrupulous people will play on the desperation of others and try to increase profit through price-gouging schemes. For example, New York Attorney General Letitia James recounted one incident where the typical $14-$25 price of a BinaxNOW test was suddenly $70 at some retailers, according to a story in US News & World Report.

This problem is not unique to New York. California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed an executive order prohibiting those selling the test from more than 10% above the price before the shortages. Officials in both North Carolina and Georgia are also taking measures to warn citizens of their states to be on the lookout for and to report any noted cases of overly-inflated prices.

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