San Diego County

Health Insurers Split on How to Provide Free At-Home Tests

NBC 7 spoke with San Diegans about the logistics of obtaining at-home COVID-19 tests through private insurance companies

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According to Kaiser Family Foundation half of the nation's largest health insurers provide free upfront tests from specific sources while others require customers to submit claims for reimbursement.  

San Diegans NBC7 spoke with said it’s a good thing that more testing options are available.

“I think it’s really important for them to be supplying this,” Louis Trenta said.

According to Kaiser Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Shield of California, Care First, Cigna, CVS/Aetna and Kaiser Permanente require policyholders to pay for tests upfront and seek reimbursement.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Centene/Ambetter, Guidewell, Health Care Service Corporation, Humana and United Health Group allows enrollees to obtain at-home tests directly from an in-network pharmacy without having to pay anything upfront.

“I think it would just be easier if we could have the test sent to us or the insurance company could just provide it,” San Diegan Miranda Edwards said.

Some San Diegans NBC 7 spoke with said the expanded testing options have the potential of being a game-changer in the fight against COVID-19.

“I think when you have something that’s so readily accessible where people can get results within 15 minutes, I think it has major implications,” Destiny Antommarchi said.  

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