Biden requires health insurers to cover the cost of at-home COVID-19 tests amid growing concern over Omicron variant

Covid-19 swab test
A woman gets a COVID-19 swab test at the Utah County Health Department in Salt Lake City on November 20, 2020. George Frey/Getty Images
  • Biden required health insurers to cover the cost of at-home COVID tests on Thursday.
  • Those who aren’t covered by private insurance can find free tests at clinics and health centers, Biden said.
  • The policy comes amid growing concern over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

President Joe Biden announced Thursday that health insurers must pay for at-home COVID-19 testing, and that the government will make free tests available for those not covered by private insurance.

“Today, I announced that health insurers must cover the cost of at-home COVID testing,” Biden said. “For those not covered by private insurance, we will make available free tests at thousands of locations like rural clinics and community health centers for folks to pick up and test at home.”

The Biden administration has been expanding COVID-19 health policies and guidance amid growing concern over the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. Earlier this week, California reported its first case of the variant, making it the first known infection by the variant, which was first detected in South Africa, in the US.

“We’re going to fight this variant with science and speed, not chaos and confusion,” the president said at the National Institutes of Health.

In a statement released by the White House, the Biden administration said it was “on track” to quadruple the supply of rapid at-home tests compared to the amount in late summer.

“Today’s actions will help Americans access the tests they need to help them stop the spread of COVID-19 to others,” the White House continued.