LUBBOCK, Texas — The Biden Administration announced Monday that private insurance companies would begin covering at-home rapid testing set to begin Saturday. Director of the Lubbock Health Department Katherine Wells said expanding testing options is in everyone’s best interest.
“At-home testing kits can cost up to $50. If you go and pick one up, and if it can be covered by insurance, that can really save money for a big portion of our population,” Wells said.
This move came soon after the city reported the highest number of positive COVID cases in the area since the start of the pandemic. As of Tuesday, the city reported 900 new cases.
As Leadership in Washington push to make testing more accountable, it begs the question of if testing will soon also be more accessible.
I spent hours reaching out to pharmacies and stores all over the city trying to find locations that had tests on their shelves. After spending hours speaking with store pharmacists, managers, and store associates, only one pharmacy confirmed it had a handful of tests available.
The common response from stores was that tests are on backorder, and retailers can’t confirm when they’ll receive shipments. Some Pharmacies have gone so far as to start waiting lists for their customers.
The details are still being discussed between insurance companies and pharmacists as to how the test will be covered. Customers may not have to pay at all at the counter or have to cover the cost and request to be reimbursed by their provider. Not to mention, some of the over-the-counter rapid testing brands may not be covered at all.