Asian woman using rapid antigen test kit for self test COVID 19 epidemic at home.

COVID-19 At-Home Test Information



Coverage, Reimbursement, Shelf-Life, & Expiration Dates

In early 2022, the Joint Health Management Board provided an initial notice regarding federal government requirements for group health plans to cover over-the-counter (OTC) COVID-19 tests. As of December 15, 2022, every household may order up to four (4) FDA-approved over-the-counter (OTC) COVID-19 tests per month at no cost for plan participants. In addition, it’s important to note that most OTC at-home tests are approved for use past their printed expiration dates.

Please review the information below for details on how to acquire and receive reimbursement for your eligible FDA-approved, OTC COVID-19 tests. For more details about your at-home test kits, please visit the U.S. Food & Drug Administration website.

In This Article:

What’s Covered

As noted above, the Plan must cover up to a total of eight (8) OTC COVID-19 tests per month at no cost for each covered plan participant. The eight (8) free tests covered only apply to FDA-approved OTC COVID-19 tests purchased for at-home testing purposes. Tests can be purchased all in one day or over the course of a 30-day period or calendar month. This limit does not apply to FDA-approved COVID-19 tests obtained with an order or assessment from a health care professional. It is important to note that if you purchase a box with more than one test inside, each test will count toward the 8-test limit. For example, if you purchase a box with two (2) COVID-19 tests inside, you will only be eligible for six (6) additional plan-covered tests during the
same month.

Ways to Get FREE FDA-Approved OTC COVID-19 Tests

In March 2022, the federal government approved a second round of OTC at-home COVID-19 test kits available through the US Postal Service (USPS). Even if you received an initial order of four free at-home COVID-⁠19 tests, according to the USPS website, “U.S. households can place a second order for free, at-home COVID-19 rapid tests (four tests per order); for a total of two orders containing four tests each. If an order was previously placed for your address, you can place a second order now.”

In addition, the JHMB and its partners have established the following processes for our plan participants to efficiently acquire their free OTC COVID-19 tests through the District plan:

PPO Plan A & B (Aetna) Participants (including Medicare Retirees)

Acquiring Your COVID-19 OTC Test Kits:

You may continue to acquire your free OTC COVID-19 tests at the pharmacy counter at any in-network pharmacy by presenting your Medical ID card when making your purchase (Medicare retirees use your red, white, and blue Medicare Health Insurance card.) You will not have any additional payment for covered tests if acquired at the pharmacy counter at any in-network retailer. You may also acquire your free OTC COVID-19 tests through Elixir Mail. For more information about this purchasing option, please call Elixir Mail at (866) 909.5170 (TTY: 711).


You are eligible for reimbursement of FDA-approved OTC COVID-19 tests purchased during the COVID public health emergency period beginning on January 15, 2022. To request your reimbursement, submit a medical claim form to Delta Health Systems (available online at The claim form must be accompanied with the following information and details:

  • The medical claim form must include the name of the eligible plan participant for whom the tests were purchased.
  • A copy of the purchase receipt must be included with the medical claim form.
  • A picture of the test kit(s) must include how many tests were enclosed in the package (usually on the front of the box).
  • A legible picture of the UPC symbol (barcode) from the back of the test kit(s) package.
  • The package of the OTC COVID-19 tests must include the words “FDA APPROVED.”
  • The form must be mailed to Delta Health Systems at the following address:
    • Delta Health Systems
    • PO Box 80 Stockton CA 95201-3080

Please note that FDA-approved OTC COVID-19 tests purchased at out-of-network pharmacies or by direct mail will only be reimbursed up to $12 per test kit. Also, you have up to one year from the date of purchase to submit your reimbursement. Contact Delta Health Systems at (800) 807-0820 if you have any additional questions.

Shelf-Life & Expiration Dates

The FDA offers helpful information about at-home test kits, including shelf life and expiration dates, as well as other details to help you decide what test is right for you. The shelf-life is how long the test should work as expected and is measured from the date the test was manufactured. The expiration date is set at the end of the shelf-life.

In some cases, the expiration date for a test may be extended. An extended expiration date means the manufacturer provided data showing that the shelf-life is longer than was known when the test was first authorized. If you received test kits that are now expired according to the date on the box, check the table on the FDA website to make sure your kit is no longer viable before throwing it away. For more information about how the expiration date is determined and why it may be extended, see the At-Home COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests: Frequently Asked Questions.

Thank You for Your Patience & Understanding!

The Joint Health Management Board continues to work with our partners to ensure that we develop the most efficient processes to support this recent federal mandate. We appreciate your continued support in helping us manage and maintain the highest quality health and wellness benefits on behalf of the District’s employees, retirees, and their families. Please sign up for our email updates to stay informed in regards to your healthcare plan and benefits.

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