Humana will now offer LabCorp’s home COVID-19 tests to its members and is teaming up with Walmart and Quest Diagnostics to provide access to drive-thru tests.
Members enrolled in the insurer’s Medicare Advantage, Medicare supplement, Medicaid and employer group plans are eligible for either type of test, and out-of-pocket costs will continue to be waived.
Mona Siddiqui, M.D., Humana’s senior vice president of clinical strategy and quality, told Fierce Healthcare that the insurer has shaped its testing plan—including the latest expansions announced Tuesday—with the goal of offering members confidence in seeking care that meets their needs and to comfort them in times of stress.
“That’s really been kind of the central theme with how we’ve built the testing program,” Siddiqui said.
Members with symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been exposed to the virus can request a test in whichever form they prefer. Those who are concerned about their symptoms can use Humana’s checker tool before seeking a test.
For those who choose the LabCorp home test, they will have the option to use the nasal swab themselves at home. At the drive-thrus, a Walmart pharmacist will provide patients with a nasal swab and then observe them as they collect the sample.
Quest Diagnostics will then collect the samples for testing in their laboratories, according to the announcement. Several testing sites at Walmart locations are up and running, with plans to have more opened by August.
Siddiqui noted that Humana has partnered with Walmart on other initiatives, so there was an existing relationship that was a foundation for the new testing initiative. In addition, Walmart has a large reach with its retail locations, making it easier for members to find a place to get tested.
For members who choose home tests, Humana will offer education on how they work upfront and supports as the tests are conducted, Siddiqui said.
She said the insurer is seeing early signs in data that seniors, which account for the bulk of Humana’s membership, are taking to the tests to avoid unnecessary trips out of their homes. This can be a particularly attractive option for seniors with multiple chronic conditions, who are at high risk due to complications from the virus.
“I think this is hopefully going to be something that can be a real resource for those members,” Siddiqui said.