Member Updates & Information

The federal government now requires commercial health plans to cover the cost of over-the-counter COVID-19 tests for members beginning January 15, 2022. This policy will remain in effect for the duration of the Federal Public Health Emergency.

As the result of a new requirement announced this week by the Biden-Harris Administration, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) will now reimburse members for over-the-counter at-home COVID-19 tests.

 Frequently Asked Questions


For more information about coverage of over-the-counter tests, view our frequently asked questions.

We recognize the important role testing, along with vaccines and boosters, has played in the effort to battle the pandemic. Over-the-counter at-home tests have been in limited supply over the last few weeks and finding tests can be challenging. The process we've put in place empowers our members to buy and submit claims for tests purchased through online vendors and retail locations of their choosing.

Member Reimbursement

Commercial members* may receive reimbursement for up to eight over-the-counter COVID-19 at-home tests per covered individual in the household per 30-days without a healthcare provider order or clinical assessment. If multiple tests are sold in one package, i.e., if one package includes two tests, it counts as two tests and not one test package toward the quantity limit.

Tests that can be purchased at a retail location or online but are then sent to a lab for processing are not covered unless accompanied by a doctor's order (except for individuals covered by plans based in the District of Columbia).

To be eligible for reimbursement, the purchased COVID-19 tests:

  • must be purchased on or after January 15, 2022
  • must be for personal diagnostic use
    • used to identify the potential COVID-19 infection
    • not be used for employment purposes
    • not used for surveillance testing
  • will be self-administered with results that can be self-read
  • will not be resold, given or supplied to persons other than family members covered under the same policy
  • will not be reimbursed by another source

Claims Submission

Members must complete a claims form to be reimbursed for over-the-counter COVID-19 testing. If you have health coverage through a large employer, we recommend you contact your Benefits or HR Administrator to determine if your over-the-counter COVID-19 testing claim should be sent to CareFirst as a medical claim or to your employer’s Pharmacy Benefit Manager as a pharmacy claim. Download and print the claims form (PDF).

Once you have your claim form:

  • Complete and sign the claim form and attestation
  • Submit the required documentation (claim form, attestation, UPC code cut-out and receipt)
  • Mail everything to us according to the directions on the form

Required documentation for this claim includes:  

  • The purchase receipt documenting the date of purchase and price
  • UPC** from the over-the-counter COVID-19 test packaging
  • Signed, completed attestation confirming and acknowledging that the purchased over-the-counter at-home COVID-19 test meets eligibility guidelines

The attestation included in our claims process ensures our members comply with the spirit of this policy—to ensure tests are accessible and affordable for those who need them. Buying tests to store them for a potential need isn't good for the community or public health. We ask everyone to respect and protect community health as the supply chain and our health and retail partners catch up with demand.

Other Testing Options

We are committed to making sure members get the care they need when they need it. CareFirst continues to cover the cost of COVID-19 tests administered by a healthcare provider for diagnostic purposes. Also, note that four free tests are available to all households through the federal government. Visit covidtests.gov, and click the blue "Order Free At-Home Tests" button. Then, complete and submit the online form. Everyone qualifies. You do not need health insurance to receive your free tests. People may also access free or affordably priced testing in the community. You can find a list of community-based testing sites here

*This new policy only applies to members with individual, employer-sponsored or student health plan coverage, as well as Federal Employee Program (FEP) and Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) plan members. Note: The new policy doesn't apply to members with Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap), Medicaid, or a Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan.

**The UPC (Universal Product Code) is the barcode and 12-digit-number that typically runs below it.