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Coverage for At-Home COVID-19 Test Kits

Beginning the week of Jan. 31, 2022, the College is requiring faculty and staff members to participate in a weekly testing program through the use of COVID-19 antigen tests. These tests will be provided by the College, as part of the required testing program.  

Faculty and staff members who are covered under any of the College’s Independence Blue Cross healthcare plans also receive coverage for a limited number of “at-home” tests.

Employees are still required to participate in the weekly testing program using only those tests provided by the College; other antigen or PCR tests may not be used as part of the weekly testing program requirement.

Independence Blue Cross (IBX) continues to cover FDA-authorized COVID-19 diagnostic tests with no cost share for any member, when they are ordered or administered by a health care provider following an individualized clinical assessment. Such tests will not be counted toward the maximum number of covered “at-home” test kits. 

As required by the federal government, IBX will cover at-home COVID-19 tests purchased on or after January 15, 2022 and will continue coverage through the end of the Public Health Emergency (which was most recently extended to April 16, 2022). This coverage is specifically for tests that are taken at home with results read at home, with no involvement of a lab or health care professional. Members do not need a doctor to prescribe these at-home tests, though tests ordered by health care providers are also covered, as noted above. Any at-home test kit authorized by the Food and Drug Administration is covered.

How to Obtain Coverage for At-Home Test Kits You Purchase 

Reimbursement is available for up to eight tests per covered member (including employees and their dependents) per calendar month. If a single test kit purchased includes two tests, that will count as two tests towards the eight test monthly limit. 

There are three options to obtain coverage for tests under the IBX employee medical program:

  1. Members will have the most consumer-friendly experience by purchasing COVID tests from Rite Aid, Walmart or Sam’s Club pharmacies. Members should present their IBX member ID card to the pharmacy staff to have their kits processed under the pharmacy benefit.  No payment or claim submission is required.
  2. Members may order tests online via the Optum Store, beginning Monday, Jan. 31.   
  3. Members may purchase tests from other stores or online vendors and submit a pharmacy claim form to request reimbursement. The form requires the employee to upload a receipt to provide proof of purchase.  Members will be reimbursed for the cost of the test up to a maximum of $12 per test.

Other Sources for Covered At-Home Test Kits 

The federal government will also provide up to four free tests via home delivery through the United States Postal Service. More information on this coverage may be found at