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Free home COVID testing ends May 11 for some people. How to reserve

The expired Thursday night’s national public health emergency of COVID-19 will mean the end of free home testing for some people, although many Californians can still get have a screening kit.

At the end of the schedule May 11 sunset dayA federal rule requiring insurance companies to reimburse policyholders for the cost of up to eight at-home COVID tests per month will end.

This tightening of the testing tap will affect some Medicare beneficiaries and risk limiting or cutting access to free testing across large swaths of the country.

But in California, state lawmakers and Governor Gavin Newsom have taken steps to avoid that scenario.

Here’s what you need to know:

How will test access change?

For many in California, there won’t be any short-term changes. State legislators have ordered health insurance companies continue to reimburse for eight monthly home visits for most health plans.

What are the details?

After the passage of the Senate Bill 510 And 1473Health plans administered by the California Department of Managed Health Care will still have to cover the cost of eight rapid over-the-counter tests per month per insured person.

In addition to employer-based health care coverage, this includes Medi-Cal Managed Plans and Covered California programs.

Starting November 11, insurers administered by the state’s Department of Managed Health Care will still have to cover COVID tests if they are offered in-network, but may charge a fee. for out-of-network tests.

This applies to most Californians with insurance, including those with a plan through their employer—but not everyone. For example, in-state Medicare beneficiaries may lose access.

How’s the situation with Medicare?

Medicare has speak Beneficiaries’ access to free over-the-counter tests will end on the evening of May 11, so there’s still time to reserve before that. Some pharmacies allow customers to come in and request a free test.

However, Medicare beneficiaries may have other insurance that still covers at-home COVID tests.

In addition, Medicare will still coverfree, laboratory coronavirus testing ordered by a healthcare provider, including after May 11.

“If you are enrolled in Medicare Part B, you will continue to have coverage at no cost to the appropriate laboratory-based COVID-19 PCR and antigen tests, when requested by the provider. request them (such as a drive PCR and antigen test or a provider’s office test,” Medicare said in a statement. have more access to tests depending on your interests.Check with your plan.

How can I request a free test?

Contact your insurance company for details on getting reimbursed for at-home COVID tests. You can purchase tests, submit refund claim forms, and receive checks in the mail. The federal rule that expires May 11 will reimburse up to $12 per individual test (some testing kits include two tests per box).

Kaiser Permanente is offering California members the option to receive up to eight tests per month for free by mail, which will continue not only after May 11 but also November 11.

Free home test Tests will continue to be available at many locations, including the Los Angeles County library, immunization sites operated by the county’s Department of Public Health, food banks, and senior centers.

Residents can also use the state portal, find a COVID-19 testing site near them.

LA County seniors 65 and older or who are unable to leave their homes can claim two free tests mailed to them.

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