Drug Store Operations

Alpha8472
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Re: Drug Store Operations

Post by Alpha8472 »

Starting Saturday insurance companies will pay for 8 home COVID test kits per month per person. Drugstores are really going to be busy now. If it is free people are going to buy and stockpile these tests like crazy.

This is going bring in a ton of sales to drugstores. Those customers are probably going to pick up some other items as well.

CVS says their 80 percent improvement is coming from COVID vaccinations. The company is just raking in the money.
storewanderer
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Re: Drug Store Operations

Post by storewanderer »

Alpha8472 wrote: January 11th, 2022, 5:05 pm Starting Saturday insurance companies will pay for 8 home COVID test kits per month per person. Drugstores are really going to be busy now. If it is free people are going to buy and stockpile these tests like crazy.

This is going bring in a ton of sales to drugstores. Those customers are probably going to pick up some other items as well.

CVS says their 80 percent improvement is coming from COVID vaccinations. The company is just raking in the money.
At this point... I don't even know what I'll say about the logistics situation of getting people these test kits. What an absurd circus this has become.

So now to get a test kit you go pay with cash, then fill out an insurance form, send it in to insurance (what do you use, an out of network insurance form?), then hope you get paid back eventually? This will clog up those insurance claims systems big time too, causing other larger/serious claims more of a delay in getting paid. I guess for someone who buys 8 kits at once at 23.99 it is worth it. Is there a max reimbursement the insurance will reimburse or can a store charge $75 each for 8 COVID test kits and some insurance will reimburse it?

They probably needed to just do something where the retailers were free distribution locations. I guess that would have become another circus.

I think the program where the retailers were selling the kits "at cost" was a good one and should have been continued.

What a mess.

I guess as more households have a stock of these kits on hand they will quit buying them. I don't see people stockpiling these the way they did toilet paper.
Alpha8472
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Re: Drug Store Operations

Post by Alpha8472 »

What this will do is put those private COVID test sites out of business. Instead of 2 days to get results, now you can get results in 15 minutes. Those test sites probably charge $130 to $385 per test.

The $23 test is a bargain and will reduce costs for insurance companies. This will put those for profit test sites out of business. Those sites did many complicated billing claims, so the claims might be easier to process for self tests.
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Re: Drug Store Operations

Post by storewanderer »

Alpha8472 wrote: January 11th, 2022, 9:24 pm What this will do is put those private COVID test sites out of business. Instead of 2 days to get results, now you can get results in 15 minutes. Those test sites probably charge $130 to $385 per test.

The $23 test is a bargain and will reduce costs for insurance companies. This will put those for profit test sites out of business. Those sites did many complicated billing claims, so the claims might be easier to process for self tests.
There was a site in the airport in Reno doing tests for about $80. You paid them in credit card. Not many people went there back in August when the mess started with spiking cases, and it was doing walk ins. Not sure what has been happening there more recently.

You are right- this thing having the patient buy the test in the store then submit a claim form, will reduce costs for insurance companies. A large number of people won't even bother to file the claim for reimbursement, or will fill it out wrong, or it will get lost in the mail. Some may submit it but then not cash the check they get back. It reminds me of the mail in rebates various retailers used to offer, almost like they are depending on a certain amount of breakage in the generous offer they have made to have insurances reimburse these tests.
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Re: Drug Store Operations

Post by Brian Lutz »

There will still be a niche for some of these private testing sites, since international travelers and cruise passengers still need to be able to show proof of a "medically supervised" negative test within a certain period before traveling (when I went on a cruise in December, I was required to show a negative test taken less than 48 hours before embarking.) Also, for international travel some countries will only accept a PCR test as valid for travel, so self tests would not work for that.
Alpha8472
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Re: Drug Store Operations

Post by Alpha8472 »

The online doctor website eMed sells the special COVID test that you take at home and a person observes you taking it via live video. That one is accepted by several airlines for travel. Some pharmacies such as Walgreens sell that one, but it is more expensive.

I don't know how I feel about taking a test and being live streamed over the internet.

Some insurances will allow you to get COVID tests free from pharmacies in your network, and you will not need to file a claim. It will be automated and easy.

If the pharmacy is out of your network, the insurance will only reimburse you $12 out of the full price.

The exception is Medicare. Medicare plans are not required to pay for home test kits.
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Re: Drug Store Operations

Post by storewanderer »

Alpha8472 wrote: January 12th, 2022, 11:16 am The online doctor website eMed sells the special COVID test that you take at home and a person observes you taking it via live video. That one is accepted by several airlines for travel. Some pharmacies such as Walgreens sell that one, but it is more expensive.

I don't know how I feel about taking a test and being live streamed over the internet.

Some insurances will allow you to get COVID tests free from pharmacies in your network, and you will not need to file a claim. It will be automated and easy.

If the pharmacy is out of your network, the insurance will only reimburse you $12 out of the full price.

The exception is Medicare. Medicare plans are not required to pay for home test kits.
Figures, there are hitches in the plan. It isn't so simple as go buy tests and get reimbursed... which is how it sounded when it was first presented by someone in a suit speaking.
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Re: Drug Store Operations

Post by rwsandiego »

storewanderer wrote: January 12th, 2022, 11:58 pm
Alpha8472 wrote: January 12th, 2022, 11:16 am The online doctor website eMed sells the special COVID test that you take at home and a person observes you taking it via live video. That one is accepted by several airlines for travel. Some pharmacies such as Walgreens sell that one, but it is more expensive.

I don't know how I feel about taking a test and being live streamed over the internet.

Some insurances will allow you to get COVID tests free from pharmacies in your network, and you will not need to file a claim. It will be automated and easy.

If the pharmacy is out of your network, the insurance will only reimburse you $12 out of the full price.

The exception is Medicare. Medicare plans are not required to pay for home test kits.
Figures, there are hitches in the plan. It isn't so simple as go buy tests and get reimbursed... which is how it sounded when it was first presented by someone in a suit speaking.
The government's requirement that insurers reimburse for OTC COVID tests takes effect January 15. Ergo, it was not in effect yet when the above posts were made. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, my health plan, has posted a notice on their website to check back on January 15, which sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
Alpha8472
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Re: Drug Store Operations

Post by Alpha8472 »

Some pharmacies have it set up so that you go to the prescription pharmacy and you present your insurance card for prescriptions. Then they fill a COVID test like a prescription. If the pharmacy is in the network, it is free. If not, you have to submit for a reimbursement and you only get $12 back.

However, most pharmacies are out of stock on any brand of COVID test.

For other insurances, it is more complicated. We will see in the coming weeks.
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Re: Drug Store Operations

Post by storewanderer »

rwsandiego wrote: January 14th, 2022, 6:33 pm
The government's requirement that insurers reimburse for OTC COVID tests takes effect January 15. Ergo, it was not in effect yet when the above posts were made. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, my health plan, has posted a notice on their website to check back on January 15, which sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
Walgreens has posted A-Frame signs outside their entrances in my area:
COVID TEST KITS ARE OUT OF STOCK. THERE IS A NATIONAL SHORTAGE AND KITS ARE ON BACK ORDER. WE DO NOT KNOW WHEN OR IF KITS WILL BE IN STOCK AGAIN.

For customers who miss that sign they have a few more smaller signs posted on the checkout counter and in the area where the line forms.

Maybe the insurance companies won't get too many claims since the kits seem to have all sold out.

I wonder if they take refunds on the kits from folks who over bought them.
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