Biden administrator announces reimbursement plan for COVID-19 home tests



At an event at the National Institutes of Health Thursday, the president announced that private insurance companies will soon be required to cover the cost of COVID-19 home test kits.

This week, President Biden opened up a new avenue in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic: expanding home testing on demand.

At an event at the National Institutes of Health Thursday, the president announced that private insurance companies will soon be required to cover the cost of COVID-19 home test kits.

Administration plans for insurance reimbursement are not expected to be ready until the new year, and federal rules governing the program are still being drafted.

Since September, the White House has stepped up efforts to significantly expand the availability of COVID-19 home test kits, when the president announced a $ 2 billion plan to purchase rapid tests.

Mara Aspinall, a healthcare researcher at Arizona State University and a leading authority on COVID-19 testing supplies, says the move is critical.

“I think home testing is essential as one of the main levers to end the pandemic,” Aspinall said. “It is essential that we find ways to put these tests in the hands of all Americans. “

The Biden administration has announced plans to make available to the elderly and other vulnerable groups 50 million COVID-19 home test kits.

The president also announced in September that the federal government would take action to ensure home testing manufacturers have the raw materials they need to ensure an adequate supply.

“We need to use testing to find positive people with no or very few symptoms and make sure they can isolate and not spread the disease further,” Aspinall said.

Although lab tests are considered the gold standard, Aspinall said home testing kits are reliable, especially if a person is showing symptoms.

“The rapid home tests are very accurate. If you have symptoms and you get a positive result on this test, you do not need to take the test twice. It’s pretty clear you have COVID, Aspinall said. “If you’re symptom-free and you’re going out and interacting with others, now is a great time to use these tests. They are very precise, no test is perfect.

Some COVID-19 test kits available for purchase at drugstores are sold in packs of two tests, which cost around $ 24. Testing kits are expected to become cheaper and more available in the coming months, allowing routine home COVID testing to become much more common than today.

“What I see in the future when testing becomes much, much cheaper (less than $ 5, maybe less than $ 2 each), [is] that we all do a test, once a week, to make sure we don’t have a virus that can spread to others, ”Aspinall said.

Aspinall expects the availability of home COVID-19 test kits to increase significantly by Christmas.

According to Aspinall, the country’s estimated monthly capacity for Antigen home test kits, currently sold under the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Clearance, has increased from 81 million in September to about 242 million this month. -this.


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