SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – The demand is growing for free coronavirus tests, with many stores in short supply.
The testing lines for COVID-19 have been long, which is why health care professionals are urging people to use at-home tests.
“You know, it’s really important, as we know, that the symptoms of COVID are vast and ranging from a sniffle to a headache to a sore throat and so it’s a really great tool to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our communities,” Melissa Goff, VP of Outpatient Pharmacies at Avera Medical Group said.
Now, health insurance is required to pay for those testing kits.
“Members can go out and they can purchase these from online or from retailers, from pharmacies and then they save their receipts and then they are able to submit those for reimbursement,” Alessa Jansick, Senior Director of Regulation and Risk at Sanford Health said.
However, retailers are seeing a supply crunch. Which is why the South Dakota Department of Health ordered one million tests to be distributed across the state.
“I know just as a pharmacy that we have a very hard time getting those tests in for people to be able to purchase,” Goff said. “It’s really hit or miss whether we get the order or how many tests we’ll get in the order that we placed. So having the supply from the federal government will certainly help. You know, having a million tests available for South Dakota residents is going to be huge.”
Those tests were supposed to arrive last week but have since been delayed. Until those get here, you can check with your local pharmacy for what they have in stock, order vault tests through the Department of Health or order free tests from the federal government online.
Only tests bought on or after January 15th may be eligible for reimbursement.