Since Jan. 15, 2022, employer health plans and individual health insurance issuers have been required to cover at-home COVID-19 tests purchased over the counter for the duration of the coronavirus public-health emergency. The resulting costs to health plans for covering these tests could represent a significant unanticipated expenditure in 2022 and beyond. In this paper, we provide two estimates of the potential costs of a fully compliant direct coverage pathway in 2022 to address the variability in costs associated with factors such as:
Local and workplace testing requirements
Federal efforts for free testing
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At-home COVID-19 testing costs for commercial health plans
We estimate the financial impact of the federal requirement for employers and individual insurance plans to cover self-administered and self-read COVID-19 tests.