Insurance companies will reimburse people for at-home COVID tests starting Saturday
BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - As COVID cases continue to rise, at-home testing will soon become more accessible to North Dakotans and all Americans.
Starting Saturday, people with private insurance will be able to apply for reimbursement for at-home COVID tests.
Julie Hart says more at-home testing would be a good thing.
“If you have symptoms you don’t have to go out of your house to find, wait in line for a Civic Center event to be tested or go to a doctor’s office and pay a copay to be tested, you can test in the convenience of your own home,” said Hart, of Bismarck. It’s not clear if this will raise insurance premiums.
“It boils down to some of the supply and how much it’s utilized to really get a determination on what that means for the rates. But you can certainly see that this is another cost to your insurance carrier, another cost to health insurance,” said Jon Godfread, ND Insurance Commissioner.
Julie says higher premiums would be a mistake.
“Paying premiums for an inpatient is much more expensive than paying for a test and keeping someone at home. So, I think they’d be doing themselves a disservice by increasing their premiums,” she said.
Pharmacists in Bismarck say it’ll be a useful tool in fighting the pandemic.
“I think it would be great if people had a bunch of free tests. I think it would ultimately be a good thing. I’m sure you could come up with some negatives, but I’d say the benefits would outweigh them,” said Kevin Martian, pharmacist at Mayo Pharmacy in Bismarck.
However, they’re concerned the tests won’t be available.
“I think it’s pie in the sky. There’s not going to be this giant abundance of tests anytime in the immediate future. The supply chain stuff is, I don’t think getting better anytime soon just because we throw money at it. There’s a lot of factors,” said Martian.
Kevin told me there just aren’t enough tests being made to consider each person having access to eight of them per month.
People can be reimbursed for any over the counter COVID test that’s been given emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. For a full list of the tests covered, visit the following website: https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-emergency-use-authorizations-medical-devices/in-vitro-diagnostics-euas-antigen-diagnostic-tests-sars-cov-2.
Copyright 2022 KFYR. All rights reserved.