Reminder: health insurance covers COVID-19 tests at home

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By Colleen Tresler
Senior Project Manager, FTC

Although you can no longer get free COVID-19 test kits “> from the federal government, if you have health insurance, you are covered for eight free over-the-counter COVID-19 tests at home each month. So if you have health insurance through your employer or have an Affordable Care Act market plan, each person covered by your plan can get eight tests per month. If you’re on Medicare, you’re also covered for 8 free over-the-counter COVID-19 tests each month.

There are two ways to get your tests for free: (1) use a pharmacy or store your health plan designates as “in-network” where you’ll be charged $0 or (2) get reimbursed by submitting a claim to your insurance plan. Check with your health insurance fund to find an in-network pharmacy or to find out what receipts or other documents you will need.

For more information, including other free COVID-19 testing options, visit COVID.gov/tests.

Since we know that scammers are targeting Medicare beneficiaries with fake offers of free tests, it’s only a small step to say that they could also be approaching people with private health insurance, trying to steal your personal information to commit fraud and falsely charge your insurance.

To protect your information:

  • If you’re buying test kits online, know who you’re dealing with. Search online for the name of the product or company, as well as “complaint” or “scam” to see what others are saying.
  • Never give your health insurance or other personal information over the phone to someone who calls unexpectedly.
  • Check your Explanation of Benefits statements to make sure the claim only includes the services you actually received.
  • Learn about medical identity theft to find out how to protect yourself and how to know if someone is misusing your medical information.

If you suspect a scam, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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