President Biden announced new actions to combat COVID-19 as the country heads into the winter months and with the emergence of a new variant, Omicron.
The president wants individuals with private health insurance to get at-home tests reimbursed by their insurance. From the White House announcement:
- Expanding Free At-Home Testing for Americans: Today, the President will announce new steps to ensure that Americans has access to free at-home testing. First, the more than 150 million Americans with private insurance – who now are able to get tests covered in physician offices, pharmacies, and clinics with no cost sharing – will also be able to get at-home tests reimbursed by their insurance. Second, for those not covered by private insurance, in addition to more than 20,000 federally-supported free testing sites across the U.S., at-home tests will be distributed through key community sites, such as health centers and rural clinics. The Biden Administration has taken significant steps to increase testing in the country since January. We are on track to quadruple the supply of rapid at-home tests that we had in late-Summer. Today’s actions will help Americans access the tests they need to help them stop the spread of COVID-19 to others.
New York State has ordered 1 million over-the-counter rapid COVID-19 tests for local health departments outside of New York City. The local health departments must prioritize the distribution of the free over-the-counter tests to K-12 schools. The primary purpose of these tests is to prioritize the rapid return to or continuation of participation in classroom instruction following COVID-19 symptoms in unvaccinated or vaccinated people with no known exposure to someone with COVID.
More information on the distribution of these tests is available here.