By Colleen Tressler
Senior Project Manager, FTC
While you can no longer get free COVID-19 test kits from the federal government, if you have health insurance, you’re covered for eight free over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 tests each month. So if you have health insurance through your employer, or if you have a plan through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace, each person on your plan can get eight tests per month. If you’re on Medicare, you’re also covered for 8 free over-the-counter COVID-19 tests each month.
There are two ways to get your tests for free: (1) use a pharmacy or store that your health plan designates “in network” where you’ll be charged $0 or (2) get reimbursed by submitting a claim to your insurance plan. Check with your health insurance provider to find an in-network pharmacy or to know what receipts or other documentation you’ll need.
For more information, including other free COVID-19 testing options, visit COVID.gov/tests.
Since we know scammers are targeting Medicare recipients with fake offers for free tests, it’s a short leap to say they might also approach people with private health insurance, trying steal your personal information to commit fraud and bill bogus charges to your insurance.
To keep your information safe:
- If you buy test kits online, know who you’re dealing with. Search online for the product or company name, plus “complaint” or “scam” to see what other people are saying.
- Never give your health insurance or other personal information over the phone to anyone who calls out of the blue.
- Check your Explanation of Benefits statements to be sure the claim includes only services you really got.
- Read about medical identity theft to learn how to protect yourself, and how to know if someone is misusing your medical information.
If you suspect a scam, let the FTC know at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.