Remember back in 2021 when people were desperate to find a COID test? In response, the government started sending out free tests, then required that insurance reimburse you for eight tests per month. IIf you had private insurance, you could walk into Walgreens, ask the pharmacist for a script for COVID tests, and walk away with a stack of tests without paying a penny, regardless of your coverage.
But here we are in the spring of 2023, and public health edeclaration of emergency will expires May 11, and with it, this possibility of reimbursement. To be clear, private insurance could still choose to cover COVID testing, but hahaha. So here’s why you should test anyway, where to find tests, and how to get your insurance company to take care of you so you’re covered before time runs out. There’s still enough time to get 16 more tests before the end of the reimbursement.
Yeah, thereweuntil youEast
Yes, you will probably catch COVID. (Again?) And then get it back. And even. During your life, you will probably have it at least a few times. Science says that each of these infections, no matter what you feel during the infection, contributes to your risk of Long COVIDand that many more people live Long COVID than we do realize. COVID is now recognized as vascular, and mounting evidence shows that microclots lead to neurological, cardiovascular and pulmonary problems. Sometimes they are also minor only fatigue and rapid heartbeat few weeks, but you probably know someone who has experienced other effects, such as COVID toe or brain fog. There is also evidence that the wave continues to colds that our body cannot fight, the flu and increases in fungal infections are an indirect result of our overworked immune systems. Although all of these may seem like small issues, because the risk of death is not anymore ubiquitous more, The long COVID makes enough people disabled that they can’t workand more than just the old and the infirm are affected.
It is important to do everything you can to minimize your viral load during each of these infections and to get as few infections as possible. One of our tools is interventions such as Paxlovid, which has been touted as being primarily for people who are likely to have severe outcomes, although science says it will be advantage Most people, reduce your risk of Long COVID up to 30%. The path to getting Paxlovid starts with testing positive, and you can only get a script for Paxlovid within the first five days of symptoms.
How to get tested now
JThe test centers that lined the streets of major cities and the parking lots of convention centers and fairgrounds are gone. OWhen national testing conglomerates like Curative and Carbon Health decided to shut down their testing centers, it meant less access to rapid tests that were covered by government or insurance. These were usually PCR or molecular tests, which are considered much more accurate than the common rapid antigen/lateral flow tests we have at home. In in fact there is substantial evidence that rapid antigen tests (RATs) provide inaccurate negative results during the first 5-6 days of infectionbut one PCR/molecular test would be accurate during this time.
You can still get home tests at pharmacies, Costco, Amazon, and most grocery stores.And they’re all going to be rapid antigen/lateral flow tests. They are not bad, because a positive is almost always reliable, even if a negative the first few days is not. They are good for the backend of the infection, telling you when you are no longer contagious (because the five day rule is the result of capitalism, not science).
To get a PCR or molecular test, you have two options: go a place that offers the test, probably an emergency care or travel test place, or a pony for more recent, home molecular tests. Jtwo companies treat yourselfgetting tested now: Benchmark Health has a hub and individual rapid molecular tests, but they are expensive: $50–$75 each. But Lucira Health has a molecular test for $25—$35. With your $12 reimbursement per test, that’s $13 each in his pocket.
How does rrefund wopen?
If you are looking fast antigen tests, the easiest way to get them is to call your pharmacy and ask for your eight tests this month. Your pharmacist can complete the script. In most cases, your health insurance has already negotiated with big chains like Walgreens, RiteAid and SVC, so that’s all you have to do. When they’re ready, go get them.
Ordering online is a little more complicated—And rapid molecular tests must be ordered online. First of all, ensure your health insurance covers them (in my experience, most insurers cover the two I named above, Cue and Lucira). Then you will have to pay for them in advance and hold on to your receipt. All insurance companies have forms you fill out to get reimbursed, and the real challenge find the shape. The quickest route is to just call your insurance and ask. This is a pharmacy refund, so ask for the pharmacy or call the pharmacy number on your card to get there faster. Complete the form, submit it along with your receipt, and you can expect check-in in about eight hours. weeks.
Although reimbursement ends on May 11, they will still pay claims for purchases made before that date, so if you order today, and still in 30 days, you can store 2 months worth of tests. Even if you think you won’t need ittake them anyway. Use them to make sure you can safely spending time with immunocompromised people, like your aging parents or grandparents, or these friends you haven’t seen for three years. Give them to people who need them. Get them just to put the screws At insurance companies-this is one of the few times in your life when you can do that.
The pandemic may be “over”, but that’s the problem with pandemics: They are never really finished.