Private insurance plans to cover FDA-approved over-the-counter COVID-19 tests starting Saturday

Published: Tuesday, January 11, 2022 - 11:53am
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As the White House takes steps to provide tests for more people, private insurance will have to cover FDA-approved over-the-counter COVID-19 tests starting Saturday. Insurance will cover up to eight tests per individual per month on the plan.

With the recent spike in cases due to the omicron variant, and the state seeing the highest daily cases since last January, the demand for tests has surged. 

It’s not just at-home tests; Embry Health has seen a recent jump to 42,000 tests per day, which is nearly three times higher than what it saw before Christmas. Embry Health CEO Raymond Embry says 20% to 30% of its staff are out. 

“We have definitely had staffing shortages, but we are working on immediate fixes to change that. Just last week I raised the minimum wage for all employees in the field to $20 an hour, that is up from $15 an hour," Raymond said. 

He added it has needed more staff since the delta variant gained traction, but omicron has increased the demand for workers 10-fold. 

Raymond says his goal is to hire 100 new employees daily to keep up with demand for tests.

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