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The Union Leader: Kuster leads push to for military health insurance to cover COVID tests

The Union Leader: Kuster leads push to for military health insurance to cover COVID tests

In a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Rep. Annie Kuster and 14 members of Congress asked that COVID-19 tests be automatically covered under the military’s health insurance program.

Private health insurance companies have been required to cover at-home COVID-19 tests since January, following an executive order from President Joe Biden. Medicare, the federally-funded health insurance program for retirees, and Medicare, the health insurance program funded by federal and state governments for poor and disabled people, are also required to cover the cost of at-home tests.

But TRICARE, the health insurance program for active-duty members of the military and National Guard as well as their family members, does not automatically cover at-home tests. Some 9.6 million people have health insurance through TRICARE, the letter stated.


“(At) this time, at-home COVID-19 tests are not a TRICARE-covered benefit and are not reimbursable unless it is ordered by a TRICARE-authorized provider or a provider at a military hospital or clinic,” the letter explained.

TRICARE has been required to cover the cost of COVID-19 testing: in her letter, Kuster and the other representatives asked Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to ensure that at-home tests are covered the same way as tests administered by health care providers.

“In order to protect all Americans from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage the Department of Defense provide the 9.6 million TRICARE beneficiaries the same access to at home tests with no cost-sharing or medical management requirements afforded to other Americans,” the letter said.