Government to require insurance companies to cover cost of at-home COVID-19 testing – Boston 25 News

The federal government will soon require health insurance companies to cover the costs of at-home COVID-19 testing.

>> Read more trending news

President Joe Biden is expected to announce the new regulations on Thursday.

The Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor and Department of Treasury will release guidelines overseeing the new regulations by January 15. The rules will indicate the number of tests covered and their frequency, ABC News reported.

Reuters said the move will not be retroactive and will only apply to people with private health insurance, not those covered by public health insurance.

>>Related: Coronavirus: Transport mask mandate will be extended until March

To compensate those with public coverage or those without health insurance, the administration will send 50 million tests to rural clinics and testing sites.

>> Related: White House to announce new testing deadline for travelers entering US

For those who qualify, they will be able to request reimbursement from their insurance company for over-the-counter COVID-19 tests, ABC News reported. On-site testing is already covered by insurance, according to ABC News.

As to whether current tests can determine whether the diagnosis of coronavirus is a specific variant, such as the current omicron variant, Time reported that most of the tests used do not differentiate between different strains. Instead, the tests can only detect COVID-19. A laboratory will need to determine the variant by sequencing the genetic makeup of the variant.

There is, however, a test from Thermo Fisher Scientific that can examine three parts of the virus, one of which can determine if it was the alpha or original version of the disease, or if it is different, Time reported.

More coverage of the coronavirus pandemic:

>> Coronavirus: How long between exposure to the virus and the onset of symptoms?

>> What are your chances of coming into contact with someone who has COVID-19? This tool will tell you

>> How not to let coronavirus pandemic fatigue set in, fight back if it does

Kristan F. Talley