Save your at-home COVID- 19 test receipt. You’ll likely need it for reimbursement

Testing at home for COVID-19 just got a whole lot cheaper if you have insurance. And starting later this week, at-home tests will become available to anyone for free.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If you are lucky enough to find an at-home COVID-19 test in-store, insurance companies will now cover up to eight tests per month. But don’t expect to get that money back right away.

“But I just think with the limited amount of time that we had lead from when it was announced, not all the pieces are in place yet,” said Panama Pharmacy owner Kevin Duane.

Duane says, right now, you’re not likely to find a store able to bill your insurance immediately, meaning you will likely have to be reimbursed for any tests you buy in-store.

But if you are paying out of pocket, make sure you’re not spending too much on a test. Insurance companies will only cover up to $12 for each kit.

Duane says the eventual goal would be similar to having a list of in-network medical offices where people can go and get a test for free, but, right now, that’s not the case.

“I think a lot of the insurers were taken by surprise, so not everything is in place yet,” Duane said.

That’s why, for now, most insurance companies are telling their customers to save their receipts and they’ll need to submit for reimbursement, Duane says.

But if you don’t have insurance or want to go through that process, starting Wednesday, anyone can order four free at-home tests at

Expect the tests to take seven to 12 days to ship. So if you need a test right away, Duane’s advice is to pack your patience on getting the money back and save that receipt.

About the Author:

Lauren Verno anchors the 9 a.m. hour of The Morning Show and is the consumer investigative reporter weekday afternoons.