OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma Insurance Department officials want Oklahomans to know that at-home, over-the-counter COVID-19 tests are now available for free to those who have a health insurance plan.

Group health plans and health insurance issuers that offer group or individual health insurance must cover over-the-counter COVID-19 tests starting today, Saturday, Jan. 15, according to the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID).

New guidelines state that the tests must either be free or reimbursed by the insurer.

FILE – Youngstown City Health Department worker Faith Terreri grabs two at-home COVID-19 test kits to be handed out during a distribution event, Dec. 30, 2021, in Youngstown, Ohio. Starting Saturday, private health insurers will be required to cover up to eight home COVID-19 tests per month for those on their plans, the Biden administration announced Monday, as it looks to lower costs and make testing for the virus more convenient amid rising frustrations. (AP Photo/David Dermer, File)

“Like the rest of the nation, Oklahoma is facing a new surge with the omicron variant. Continued testing is critical to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring the health and safety of our communities,” Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready said. “I encourage Oklahomans to take advantage of at-home testing and available local testing sites to help keep people safe with early detection.”

OID officials advise Oklahomans to keep their receipt and submit a claim to their insurance company for reimbursement if they purchase an over-the-counter COVID test from a pharmacy, store or online retailer and are charged.

“If your plan has not set up a network of preferred stores, pharmacies, and online retailers at which you can obtain a test with no out-of-pocket expense, consumers will be reimbursed the amount of the cost of the test,” an OID news release states.