(Credit: Ross Todd/ALM)

Private health plans no longer will be required to provide COVID-19 tests without cost to consumers when the public health emergency ends on Thursday. Although the vast majority of people with private health insurance will continue to have coverage for tests ordered or administered by a clinician, these tests soon will be subject to cost sharing, quantity limits and prior authorization requirements.

Some health plans may voluntarily continue to cover at-home tests but won’t be required by federal law to do so. Therefore, people with health insurance may face the full cost of tests if they are within their deductible, subject to quantity limits or denied coverage through prior authorization, or if they purchase an at-home test that is not covered through their insurance. People without health insurance will face the full cost of COVID-19 tests if performed in the typical clinical setting.

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