January 18, 2022
ACHP spoke with CBS News’ Megan Cerullo about ACHP health plans working around the clock to implement new federal rules requiring private insurers to cover at-home COVID tests.
by Megan Cerullo, CBS News
Beginning Saturday, private health insurers will be required to reimburse their members for the cost of over-the-counter COVID-19 tests under. But Americans are unlikely to get their hands on tests right away.
For one, rapid tests remain in short supply, and pharmacies across the U.S. are sold out in stores and online. Second, many insurers aren’t ready to go, saying they haven’t had enough time to establish partnerships with retailers or to come up with the necessary operational processes for health plan participantsfor the tests.
Ceci Connolly, CEO of the Alliance of Community Health Plans, an advocacy group that represents 25 nonprofit health plans, said insurers have been working around the clock to set up preferred retail networks so consumers can get free test kits.
“That is the ideal, smoothest way for this to happen, but there is potential for a lot of hiccups along the way,” she said.
If consumers don’t know when and how they will be reimbursed, or are required to mail a paper receipt to their provider, the initiative could even discourage Americans from seeking out tests.
“We are really worried the confusion and frustration is going to discourage testing in many places, as opposed to encouraging more testing,” Connolly said.