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COVID-19 Coverage Expanded to Include Over-the-Counter Kits for Diagnostic Tests

January 14, 2022

A recent announcement from the federal government intends to increase access to COVID-19 testing. As of January 15, 2022, you can get reimbursed by your health plan for the costs of over-the-counter diagnostic COVID-19 tests until the end of the Coronavirus Public Health Emergency. Diagnostic tests are performed if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been recently exposed.


Who should take a test and when?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidelines for who should get a diagnostic test and when based on your current health, your vaccination status, and your history of infection. Visit the CDC website for the most up-to-date testing guidance.


Where can I find a test?

  • Visit for information on free tests that may be available through government services.
  • Anthem has a limited number of at-home diagnostic test kits available for certain members to order online. Log in using the SydneySM Health mobile app or at If you’re eligible to order an at-home test, you’ll see the option to place an order. If you don’t see that option, you’re ineligible but you still have other testing options available.
  • You can still use in-person diagnostic COVID-19 testing sites. These may include your doctor’s office, a pharmacy or health clinic, or an urgent care center. Use our COVID-19 Test Site Finder to find a testing location close to you.
  • At-home diagnostic tests can be purchased over the counter online, at a local pharmacy, or from a big-box store.

How does my plan cover the over-the-counter test?

From January 15, 2022 until the end of the Coronavirus Public Health Emergency, each individual on your plan can get up to eight over-the-counter tests each month. If you purchase a test kit that includes two rapid tests, that will count as two of your eight covered tests.


How do I get reimbursed?

You will be reimbursed for over-the-counter COVID-19 diagnostic tests purchased on or after January 15, 2022. You may have to pay out of pocket at the time of purchase, but keep your receipt to submit a claim online. Log in to, go to Claims & Payment, and choose Submit a Claim.

If you have an Anthem Medicaid or Medicare plan, you will need to visit your member website for information on how your health plan covers COVID-19 testing.


Can I visit the emergency room for a test?

As hospitals and emergency departments are overwhelmed, avoid going to the emergency room (ER) if you need to get tested. Only visit the ER or call 911 if you’re experiencing life-threatening symptoms.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: Test for Current Infection (accessed January 2022):


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Stay informed by checking these resources for up-to-date information about COVID-19, especially if you’re thinking about traveling.