Coverage of at-home covid tests to start Saturday

Coronavirus

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Health insurance companies are scrambling to make plans to accommodate a federal mandate that requires them to cover the cost of at-home tests. The mandate goes into effect this weekend, but many providers are saying they aren’t ready.

Several insurance companies tell 6 News that one of their main concerns is the availability of these tests.

In addition to planning headaches, one spokesperson said the costs may soon be passed on to employers.

So will the increased use of at-home tests ease up the pressure upon lab testing?

A director at Sparrow Health says not right away because of the limited number of kits available right now.

“You have five days to implement a mandate like this, it makes it remarkably difficult. Not looking for sympathy, we’re here to give our members everything they need in order to be healthy. In order to get better to fight the COVID pandemic. But you know, 5 days in a business as complicated as health care is just not enough time,” said Jeff Rombuck of McLaren Health Plan.

“They work best for people who have symptoms and are trying to find a quick way to determine if they should isolate,” said Jon Baker, a lab director with Sparrow Health.

6 News reached out to several of Michigan’s top health insurance companies to find out how they will handle the new mandate.

All of the responses have one thing in common: they don’t appear ready for this rollout.

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