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Private Health Insurance helping provide free at-home test kits

Columbus Public Health provide at-home COVID test kits. (Courtesy: Columbus Public Health)
Columbus Public Health provide at-home COVID test kits. (Courtesy: Columbus Public Health)
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Saturday marks a big day for people trying to get their hands on those free at-home COVID-19 test kits. Starting Saturday, private health insurance companies will be required to cover those at-home test kits.

Health experts call test kits game changers when it comes to fighting the virus.

In order to keep people safe and save their money, the new plans require private health insurance companies to cover up to 12 dollars per test kit.

Devin Rogers is in favor of the new plan. Rogers says, "I think it's a great idea. I think everybody should get tested if they have any concern about it. It helps keep people safe. Especially people who are vulnerable to COVID."

In order for people to get the test kits covered, they can submit receipts for reimbursement from their insurance company.

Amy Arnold is a school teacher in Central Ohio and was lucky enough to get tests during the holiday break, however, she does understand how important the new plan can be for others.

"It's not a huge deal for me to go in there and drop that much money but for my families that a big deal," Arnold says.

Amy adds the plan can also help her students.

"I have a lot of students who are from lower, socially economic families," Arnold said. "This is huge for us because they can't afford them."

However, some are still having trouble finding test kits in the stores.

Emily Miller tells WSYX that her husband was searching for test kits Friday. "Started coming down with a sore throat yesterday. So he just wanted to get one of the at-home kits but we can't find them anywhere."

That could change next week.

Starting next Wednesday, the public can order up to four at-home test kits for free. However, shipping can take up to two weeks.

Regardless, health experts are urging people to order now and wait.

COPC Hospitals Medical Director Dr. Brian Taylor says, “Our ER’s are very busy, urgent cares, primary care doctors offices are very busy so ideally if we could take some of that volume off of them, by getting a test at home and make them so available, that’s a huge deal.”

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Beyond making more test kits available, the White House says they also plan to make high-quality masks available for free. More details are expected to come out about that sometime next week.

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