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Guidelines to get at-home COVID-19 tests paid for by insurance

State health officials say coverage is for FDA approved, over-the-counter diagnostic tests, with up to $12 per individual test.

ST PAUL, Minn. — New rules say as of Jan. 15 costs for at-home COVID-19 tests are required to be covered by health plans offered by insurance companies, employers and other groups, in an effort to head off the omicron variant. 

That being said, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is telling residents that are guidelines that must be followed in order to get the money that is coming to you. 

WHAT IS COVERED? 

  • Coverage is for FDA approved over-the-counter COVID-19 diagnostic tests 
  • Up to $12 (or actual cost if less than $12) per test, with up to 8 tests per month, each person, is covered.
  • This additional cost coverage applies to private insurers or group health plans (such as self-insured employers). It also includes MNsure private health plans for individuals.
  • Different guidelines apply to Medicare and Medicaid public health plans.

HOW ARE COSTS COVERED? 

#1 – Check with your health plan first: Minnesotans need to check with their health plan first (prior to purchasing at-home tests) to ensure reimbursement. Find plan contact information on the back of your health insurance card.

#2 – Check for direct coverage:  Rather than seeking reimbursement for test costs, check with your health plan about direct coverage options. Some may offer free at-home tests at certain providers or locations. 

#3 – Follow the process: If you pay for at-home tests out of pocket, check into the reimbursement protocols. Some plan may require receipts and a completed form, either online or in hard copy form. 

“Testing is a vital part of stopping the spread of COVID-19. President Biden’s actions to add private health plan coverage for at-home tests is one more important option to assure Minnesotans have access to COVID-19 tests at no cost to you,” said Commerce Commissioner Grace Arnold.

MDH reminds Minnesotans residents that free COVID tests (covered by insurance) are still available at state-run community sites, or at your local clinic or pharmacy. 

Anyone who has a complaint about obtaining reimbursement for at-home tests from private health plans regulated by the state (this does not include employers who are self-insured) can file a complaint online with Commerce, email at consumer.protection@state.mn.us or contact Commerce’s Consumer Services Center: 651-539-1600 or 800-657-3602.

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