February 22, 2022
As most Medicare beneficiaries wait until spring for no-cost at-home COVID-19 tests, Medicare Advantage plans — such as ACHP members Kaiser Permanente, Fallon Health and Point32Health — innovate to cover tests for their beneficiaries.
Fallon Health is ahead of an industry preparing to incorporate over-the-counter COVID-19 tests into their benefits.
“It’s a great case of Medicare Advantage plans being innovative and flexible. When issues pop up with the pandemic or there’s another need for services, they’re able to be flexible with their supplemental benefits.” — Dan Jones, VP of federal affairs at the Alliance of Community Health Plans
Alliance of Community Health Plans members started exploring over-the-counter COVID-19 test coverage after the federal government began requiring commercial insurance plans to pay for them, said Dan Jones, vice president of federal affairs at the trade association for not-for-profit health insurance companies. Customers had flooded Medicare Advantage plans’ phone lines asking why they couldn’t get free tests, which prompted some companies to take action, he said.