WHITMER: Health insurance to cover eight at-home COVID test per month

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michiganders with health insurance can now claim eight at-home COVID-19 test per month.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) want Michiganders to take advantage of the new federal rule.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaking at Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids Wednesday, June 16, 2021.

We will continue working with our federal partners to ensure that COVID-19 testing is more accessible and less expensive for every Michigander. Thanks to this new rule, a family of four, for example, can get 32 tests every month, saving them at least $384 every month. This expanded access to tests will lower costs and help limit the spread of COVID-19.” 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Michiganders should keep receipts and boxes for COVID-19 tests purchased beginning Saturday, Jan. 15 to be submitted for future reimbursement.

The new federal law allows people to buy eight test per-person in the family, meaning a family of four will save at least $384 a month. 

This new health insurance benefit will help reduce barriers to at-home COVID-19 testing for Michiganders. Depending on the insurer, consumers may be able to get their covered tests for free at the store or pharmacy, or they may be required to keep receipts for later reimbursement. Following the guidance issued Monday by the federal government, insurers have begun developing their plans for offering this new benefit. DIFS will compile information from Michigan insurers as it becomes available, and more information will be posted in the coming weeks at Michigan.gov/DIFS.” 

Anita Fox, DIFS Director

Insurers can, but are not required to cover tests purchased before January 15.

Free COVID-19 testing is not limited to Michiganders with private health insurance, as individuals out-of-pocket costs will vary depending on how the coverage is provided: 

  • Through a network of preferred pharmacies or retailers: If your insurer establishes a network of preferred pharmacies or retailers, you can get over-the-counter COVID-19 tests with no up-front costs at those locations.
    • If purchasing tests elsewhere, your insurer is required to reimburse you up to $12 for those tests. 
  • Reimbursement: If your insurer does not have a network of preferred pharmacies or retailers, you will have to pay up front for your tests, and your insurer will be required to pay you for the full price of covered tests.  
  • Michigan Medicaid and MIChild: Participants have coverage for FDA-authorized at-home COVID-19 tests. 
  • If you do not have insurance: People without insurance can also get tested for free at some community health centers. 

Towards the end of the month, all Michiganders will have access to free at-home tests that will be sent to them directly via the mail upon request by the federal government.


MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel, courtesy of MDHHS.gov.

Additionally, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is helping pilot a project with libraries across the state to offer free, at-home testing kits for Michiganders.

We are continuing to find innovative ways to provide Michiganders with opportunities to protect themselves from COVID-19. Testing is an important tool to limit the spread of the virus and we encourage residents to visit participating library locations to get their test kit.”

Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director

Accoridng to MDHHS, earlier this week, 5,500 test kits were shipped to 18 libraries in Calhoun, Clare, Newaygo, Oceana and Saginaw counties and the City of Detroit.

Each site received 300 COVID-19 at-home test kits that each include one test. More kits will be shipped to these sites, and more libraries will be receiving at home test kits in the coming weeks.

This initial distribution of tests to select library branches will inform MDHHS’ approach to formalizing and sustaining the project going forward in partnership with the Michigan Library Association.

This partnership is just one more tool to keep our school communities safe Along with the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, mask wearing and social distancing, take-home testing allows Michiganders easy access to testing.” 

Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Michigan’s chief medical executive

MDHHS says test kits are available on a first come, first serve basis.

Currnetgly, one kit is allowed per person, with up to five per household.

To get a test kit, visit the following libraries during business hours.

CountyCityLibraryAddress
CalhounHomerHomer Public Library141 West Main Street
ClareClarePere Marquette District Library185 East Fourth Street
ClareFarwellSurrey Township Public Library105 East Michigan Street
ClareHarrisonHarrison District Library105 East Main Street
NewaygoHesperiaHesperia Community Library80 South Division Street
NewaygoWhite CloudWhite Cloud Community Library1038 Wilcox Avenue
OceanaHartHart Area Public Library415 South State Street
OceanaPentwaterPentwater Township Library402 East Park Street
SaginawFrankenmuthJames E. Wickson Memorial Library359 South Franklin Street
WayneDetroitDetroit Public Library5201 Woodward Avenue
WayneDetroitDetroit Public Library – Campbell8733 Vernor Highway
WayneDetroitDetroit Public Library – Edison18400 Joy Road
WayneDetroitDetroit Public Library – Jefferson12350 East Outer Drive
WayneDetroitDetroit Public Library – Parkman1766 Oakman Boulevard
WayneDetroitDetroit Public Library – Redford21200 Grand River
WayneDetroitDetroit Public Library – Wilder7140 East 7 Mile Road
WayneDetroitDetroit Mobile LibraryVarious locations
WayneTaylorTaylor Community Library12303 Pardee Road


The library program is in addition to the MI Backpack Home Tests, in which parents, students and staff can sign up to take home COVID-19 test kits.

To date, MDHHS has provided nearly 175,000 kits to schools to distribute to participants.  

To find a testing sight near you, click here.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Michigan Headlines

More Michigan

StormTracker 6 Radar