DENVER (KDVR) — If people are hoping to access free at-home COVID-19 tests, there are just a few days left to do that.
When the public health emergency ends on May 11, patients will likely have to pay for the tests.
For two years, private insurance companies have been required to cover up to eight tests each month per household. Plus, the federal government set up a website so that people could order free tests to be delivered to their homes.
But those benefits are set to expire.
“Having a few on hand is a good idea. COVID is still going around,” said Dr. Carrie Horn, chief medical officer at National Jewish Health in Denver.
Horn said the tests will still be available at pharmacies, stories and doctor’s offices, but people will have to pay for them, or perhaps there could be a co-pay.
“I do recommend people still get the test if they can. Having a co-pay I realize is going to be a big problem for some people, and we understand that, but knowing if you have it so we can treat you is really helpful,” she said.
That’s especially true, according to Horn, for people with underlying medical conditions. Appropriate treatment could keep them out of the hospital.
“I don’t know that you necessarily need to stock up,” Horn said, adding that they don’t last forever. “It’s OK to have a few on hand, but recognize the materials inside may expire,” she said.
Customers can buy COVID tests at local stores.