January 30, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 30


January 27, 2023

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President Biden’s At-Home COVID-19 Testing Reimbursement Plan Still Awaiting Details

On December 2, 2021, President Joe Biden made comments announcing the White House’s plan for combating COVID-19 and the emerging new variant, Omicron. As part of the nine-step plan, President Biden announced an initiative that would require private health insurers to reimburse covered individuals for the cost of at-home COVID-19 diagnostic tests during the public health emergency. Both employer-sponsored group health plans and health insurers would have to reimburse for the tests. For those without private insurance, at-home tests would be distributed through community sites, such as health centers and rural clinics, in addition to federally supported free testing sites.

Beyond the president’s remarks, the Biden administration has not put in place a set policy, although the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Labor, and U.S. Department of the Treasury are expected to issue joint guidance on or before January 15, 2022. Spokespeople for health insurance companies have stated that they are awaiting such guidance from the administration on implementation, and they have noted that several issues will need to be considered during the guidance drafting period. Further, the White House announcement’s reference to “individuals” suggests that the initiative intends to address employees, as well as their spouses and dependents, under a plan.

President Biden’s announcement comes as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) emergency temporary standard (ETS) continues its legal battle in the courts and as many employers continue to prepare for compliance with the ETS.

© 2023, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 345

About this Author

Timothy Stanton, Ogletree Daikins Law Firm, Data Privacy and Employment Attorney

Tim Stanton is an energetic advocate for and trusted advisor to inside counsel and benefits and HR executives.

His clients include: retailers and wholesalers; insurance, banking and financial services firms; and food companies and manufacturers, as well as colleges and universities.

Tim actively counsels clients on the roller coaster ride that is national health care reform, as well as on ERISA fiduciary duties, health information privacy and security, retiree medical age discrimination, and consumer-directed health...

Claudia Tran Employment Lawyer Ogletree

Claudia Tran is an associate in the Kansas City office of Ogletree Deakins. Claudia was raised in Overland Park, Kansas, and attended the University of Missouri, where she obtained an undergraduate degree in psychology. She attended Notre Dame Law School in South Bend, Indiana, where she served as the student bar association’s alumni chair for two years, as well as the production and online editor for the Journal of Legislation and the director of public relations for the sports, communication, and entertainment law forum.

While in law school, Claudia also externed in the...