DOL Provides Details on How COVID-19 Test Kits Will be Available Through Health Plans Beginning January 15
Seems that, at least in some ways, it is easier to regulate the activity of employees when they are at home, as opposed to when they are actually at the worksite.
Consider the past week, during which the Supreme Court denied the administration’s effort to require vaccination or testing for many employers, but the US Department of Labor, on January 10th, was able to mandate implementation of the administration’s order that, as of January 15th, health plans must cover or reimburse costs for at-home, over-the-counter rapid COVID-19 tests, without requiring the plan participants to pay any of the amount.
The requirement will be in effect until the end of the current public health emergency and allows for:
- No cost-sharing, preauthorization, or health care provider involvement
- Up to eight tests per plan participant per month (meaning for a family of four on a group plan, up to 32 per month will be allowed).
- Plan participants to “find out from their plan or insurer if it provides direct coverage of over-the-counter COVID-19 tests through such a program or whether they will need to submit a claim for reimbursement. If you are charged for your test after Jan. 15, keep your receipt and submit a claim to your insurance company for reimbursement.”
- Employers to directly reimburse preferred at-home test sellers through a pharmacy network and a “direct-to-consumer shipping program.”
This nine FAQs are extremely detailed, and address coverage of COVID-19 diagnostic testing and coverage of preventive services, including contraceptive coverage. They can be found here FAQs about Affordable Care Act Implementation Part 51, Families First Coronavirus Response Act and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act Implementation (dol.gov).