New mandate requires private health insurers to cover some or all of their plan members’ at-home COVID-19 testing kits

Beginning January 15, 2022, private health insurers will be required to help those that they insure the costs of at-home COVID-19 testing kits, according to White House Secretary, Press Secretary, Jen Psaki.


Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) are already required to cover COVID-19 testing to their members.


The new mandate:

  • Only applies to people insured by a private health insurance provider
  • Only covers testing kits purchased on or after January 15, 2022
  • Only covers select FDA-approved COVID testing kits
  • Covers up to eight testing kits per month for each insured person
  • Provides 100% coverage for testing kits purchased in-network
  • Covers up to $12 per testing kit purchased out-of-network
  • Provides an unlimited number of testing kits ordered by a physician
  • Does not include physician-ordered kits in the monthly eight-kit limit
  • Includes both in-network and out-of-network kits in the monthly quota


Contact your health insurance provider to get details on your coverage.


COVID-19 testing kit shortage

The recent infection surge caused by the COVID-19 variant Omicron has caused a strain on the COVID-19 testing kit supply chain. President Biden has contracted with manufacturers who’ve agreed to produce 500 million testing kits.


Retailers like Amazon, Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart have started placing limits on the number of COVID-19 testing kits that consumers can purchase. 


Price gouging

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed an executive order to prevent price gouging on at-home COVID tests. 


Price gouging occurs when a seller increases prices of goods, services or commodities to a price that is consider unreasonable. This practice is usually seen as unfair and unfortunately, typically occurs after a natural disaster when consumers are in need of basic necessities. 


Most states have their own laws that prohibit price gouging. In addition, these states have different guidelines pertaining to when price gouging is deemed illegal. Florida, for instance, does have laws against price gouging. However, price gouging in Florida isn’t considered illegal until a state of emergency is declared. 


You can usually report price gouging to your state’s Attorney General.