DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– U.S. health insurance companies are now paying for at-home COVID-19 test kits per federal law. Local health leaders say the new federal law is causing significant supply chain shortages of test kits for families who need them immediately.
Right now, cost doesn’t seem to be an issue regarding at-home COVID-19 tests, instead it’s accessibility. The new law allows one person to request eight at-home tests per month, which some local health leaders say is causing a lot of concern for communities.
“The supply chain has been disrupted by the federal government, they’ve been taking tests away from the Ohio Department of Health,” said Health Commissioner Clark County Combined Health District Charles Patterson.
No more at-home COVID-19 tests will be coming from the Ohio Department of Health. Patterson says the new federal law will be pooling tests together and then delivering them upon request. The kits will now ship within 7-to-12 days from ordering, which Patterson says would be too late for help.”
“In the short term, it’s taking the supplies away that were used to supply local populations like Clark County here,” said Patterson. “Additionally it’s going to hurt us in the long run, if they do this quickly enough it could help but my worry is by the time help comes, we won’t need it anymore.”
Patterson hopes that the new law will benefit citizens in the long run but says at-home tests will be short to come by in the meantime.
“How it was previously, it wasn’t about if you had healthcare coverage or not, it was about getting to the library or local health department for a free test,” said Patterson. “So now changing that situation is obviously making things more difficult, at least in the short run.”
Additionally, Patterson says Springfield Regional Hospital is expecting 2 teams of National Guard members this week. 1 medical team will assist in the ER and the other non-medical team will help support the short staff in day-to-day operations.
To access the federal website, click here.