Home Testing Information

Federal legislation (effective January 15, 2022) requires all insurance carriers to cover the cost of over the counter (OTC) COVID-19 tests.  Features of the legislation:

  • Allows consumers to seek reimbursement from their insurance plan for OTC tests they purchase online or in-person without the direct involvement of a health care provider.
  • Requires health plans to cover, without cost sharing, up to 8 OTC tests per covered individual per 30 days (i.e., if kits contain 2 tests, then no more than 4 kits per month) in addition to all diagnostic tests ordered by a provider.
  • Allows health plans to pay for OTC tests up front (via "direct coverage" or purchase) or reimburse individuals via the claims process.
  • Plans are only required to cover tests intended for diagnosis or treatment.  Most insurance will exclude coverage of routine screenings for employment, school or recreational purposes.


  1. If you have private insurance (not student insurance), please work with your individual carrier regarding the process for seeking payment for home COVID testing.
  2. If you have the Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan, please follow this COVID-19 OTC Guide for ordering home tests on your Student Health Insurance Plan, using your benefit  for in stock tests at no cost at CVS Pharmacy, or saving your receipts for reimbursement (please note applicable dates).
  3. Every home in the United States is also eligible to order 4 at-home free tests.  Please see https://www.covidtests.gov/ for more information. 


If you have a POSITIVE home test, please notify Vanderbilt University's COVID-19 Command Center.  After completing their intake form, you will be guided on next steps for isolation, and contact tracing will be initiated.  If you have any questions that the website doesn't answer, you may also contact them at 615-322-4357 or commandcenter@vanderbilt.edu