Inside the Lab Industry 

Humana, LabCorp, Quest and Walmart Partner on At-Home & Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing

Humana is teaming up with the country’s biggest retailer and two biggest testing labs to make it easier for members to get COVID-19 testing in non-traditional diagnostics settings. First, the national health insurer will pay for certain members who want to access at-home COVID-19 tests from LabCorp. It also announced that it’s partnering with Walmart and Quest Diagnostics to offer COVID-19 testing at Walmart drive-thru pharmacies.

The Coverage Arrangements

Eligibility for the at-home and drive-thru tests is limited to members with Medicare Advantage, Medicare supplement, Medicaid and employer plans. Members who have only Medicare prescription-drug plan coverage, stand-alone vision or dental coverage, or Tricare don’t qualify for the program.

Of course, Humana will also waive the usual copays and cost-sharing for eligible members receiving the tests. It has no choice in the matter. That’s because the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) adopted in March requires health insurers to pay for medically COVID-19 tests at no cost to members. On April 11, CMS issued guidance clarifying that the ban on cost sharing covers at-home tests, as long as those tests are ordered by a healthcare provider who considers those tests medically appropriate for the patient.

How the Arrangement Will Work

Humana’s game plan is to give members with COVID-19 symptoms or who’ve been exposed to COVID-19, e.g., via recent contact with a person confirmed as having the virus, the option of receiving an at-home test or drive-thru testing after they use the risk-assessment tool posted on the insurer’s website.

If members opt for at-home testing, LabCorp will mail them an at-home test kit within one business day. The expectation is that members will generally receive their kits within one to two days of requesting the test, according to a Humana spokesman.

Members who opt for drive-thru testing currently will be able to go to 65 Walmart locations around the country. But Humana and Walmart are working to expand that to include 500 test sites by the end of the summer, the spokesman said.

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