COVID-19 home test kits

Home test kits can be an important and convenient tool for diagnosing COVID-19, and many BCBSRI plans include $0 coverage for these kits without a prescription. This coverage applies to all BCBSRI health plans except Medicare starting on January 15, 2022.

For coverage specific to BCBSRI Medicare plans, please see the FAQ related to Medicare below.

3 things to know about $0 home test kit coverage

  1. Each person on your BCBSRI non-Medicare plan is covered for up to 8 home test kits every 30 days.
    You don’t need a prescription or order from a healthcare provider. For a list of covered home test kits, please see the FAQs below.
  2. If you buy the tests at a participating pharmacy (at the pharmacy counter), you will pay $0 when using your BCBSRI member ID card.
    Even if a pharmacy is not participating in our network, you may be able to buy the test for $0, so please ask at the pharmacy counter. If you buy the tests at a retail store or online, you’ll need to submit a form, along with your receipt, and will be reimbursed up to $12 per individual test. If a test is sold in a package of two, that is considered two tests, and you will be reimbursed $24.
  3. Our participating pharmacy network for COVID-19 home test kits includes approximately 65,000 pharmacies nationwide, including CVS and Walgreens.
    Please note that this network may be different than your plan’s standard pharmacy network. A directory of the participating pharmacies nationwide will be available soon. Find participating pharmacies in Rhode Island.

Home test kit FAQs

Starting January 15, 2022, all BCBSRI plans except Medicare have $0 coverage for COVID-19 home test kits without a prescription, and each person on the plan is covered for up to 8 home test kits every 30 days. Home test kits are tests you can do at home and read yourself, without the help of a provider or lab. These tests are not covered if the testing is for employment purposes.

If you buy the tests at a participating pharmacy (at the pharmacy counter), you will pay $0 when using your BCBSRI member ID card. However, even if a pharmacy is not participating in our network, you may be able to buy the test for $0. Please ask at the pharmacy counter. A directory of the participating pharmacies nationwide will be available soon. To find a participating pharmacy in Rhode Island, please see this list.

If you buy the tests online or at a retail store (including the regular store checkout at a pharmacy rather than the pharmacy counter), you’ll need to submit a form, along with your receipt, and will be reimbursed up to $12 per individual test. If a test is sold in a package of two, that is considered two tests and you will be reimbursed $24. Please note that shipping, handling, and other fees are not covered. Download the reimbursement form.

For Medicare coverage of home test kits, please see the “How are home test kits covered for Medicare members?” FAQ below.

For members of non-Medicare plans, the following home test kits are covered:

NDC Brand Name Number of tests in a package
56964000000 ELLUME COVID-19 HOME TEST 1
11877001140 BINAXNOW COVID-19 AG CARD HOME TEST 2
50021086001 ELLUME COVID-19 HOME TEST 1
08337000158 INTELISWAB COVID-19 RAPID TEST 2
14613033968 QUICKVUE AT-HOME COVID- 19 TEST 5
14613033972 QUICKVUE AT-HOME COVID- 19 TEST 2
11877001133 BINAXNOW COVID-19 AG CARD HOME TEST 6
60006019166 ON/GO COVID-19 ANTIGEN SELF-TEST 2
82607066026 FLOWFLEX KIT HOME TEST 1

This list is subject to change as additional home test kits become available.

For Medicare members, all FDA-approved home test kits are covered with a healthcare provider’s prescription or order when the test is medically necessary to diagnose COVID-19.

Our pharmacy network for COVID-19 home test kits includes approximately 65,000 pharmacies nationwide, including CVS® and Walgreens®. Please note that this network may be different than your plan’s standard pharmacy network and is for members of all BCBSRI health plans except Medicare. A directory of the participating pharmacies nationwide will be available soon. To find a participating pharmacy in Rhode Island, please see this list.

Members of all BCBSRI health plans except Medicare do not need an order or prescription from a healthcare provider for home test kits, starting January 15, 2022. Medicare members do need an order or prescription to submit their claim for reimbursement.

Home test kits are in limited supply nationwide, and some stores may only allow you to purchase a certain number. We are reaching out to key pharmacies to understand their inventory and supply plans as well as how to help you find tests when they’re available.

To pay $0 for the tests at a participating pharmacy (for non-Medicare BCBSRI plans), be sure to buy your test at the pharmacy counter using your BCBSRI member ID card. However, even if a pharmacy is not participating in our network, you may be able to buy the test for $0. Please ask at the pharmacy counter.

If you buy the tests online or at a retail store (including the regular store checkout at a pharmacy rather than the pharmacy counter), you’ll need to submit a form, along with your receipt, and will be reimbursed up to $12 per individual test. If a test is sold in a package of two, that is considered two tests and you will be reimbursed $24.

There are different ways to submit your reimbursement depending on your plan:

  • For members of all BCBSRI plans except Medicare
    You can download this form and mail it to the address listed.
  • For members of Medicare plans
    You can submit a claim for reimbursement electronically by logging in to myBCBSRI.com. You will need to include a provider’s order or prescription.

An FDA-approved home test kit would be eligible for reimbursement if you had an order or prescription from a healthcare provider and if the test was medically necessary to diagnose COVID-19. You can submit a claim for reimbursement electronically by logging in to myBCBSRI.com.

While the federal requirements to cover home test kits at $0 do not include Medicare members, be assured that you are still covered for medically necessary home test kits under your existing policy. We’re also looking into other ways to make receiving home test kits easy and convenient for our Medicare Advantage members. We’ll share that information as soon as it is available.

In addition to your BCBSRI benefits, the federal government is providing up to 50 million free home test kits to community health centers and Medicare-certified health clinics as well as 500 million home test kits to be distributed for free to Americans who want them.

Medicare policy for home test kits
FDA-approved home test kits are covered if you have an order or prescription from a healthcare provider and if the test is medically necessary to diagnose COVID-19. The tests are not covered for screening for COVID-19 in work or public health settings. Please note that BCBSRI will reimburse you for the cost of the test only. Shipping, handling, and other fees are not covered. When you submit the claim for reimbursement, please include a copy of the provider’s order or prescription. You can submit a claim for reimbursement electronically by logging in to myBCBSRI.com.