Insurance Changes Coming Soon for COVID-19 Tests

February 24, 2023

Dear UMB Community,

I am sharing resources to help you locate free COVID-19 testing because an important federal change in policy is coming in May when the COVID-19 national emergency declaration ends.

Starting May 11, 2023, private insurers and Medicare Advantage plans will no longer be required to cover the cost of free at-home COVID-19 tests. (Note: Medicaid will cover at-home tests at no cost through September 2024.) This will also impact students enrolled in the UMB Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) managed by Gallagher and United Healthcare Student Resources (UHCSR).

Currently, your insurance plan covers the cost of eight over-the-counter (OTC) at-home tests per individual per month. Please take advantage of your insurance plan through the end of the deadline, especially if your plan will no longer cover these tests. More information about accessing this soon-to-expire health insurance plan benefit can be found here. Locations to find COVID-19 tests can be found at the end of this letter.

Student Health Insurance Plan

SHIP students can receive Federal Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized OTC at-home COVID-19 antigen tests at no out-of-pocket cost to you through the Preferred Retailer Program or submit receipts for reimbursement for purchasing test kits: 

  1. Visit an in-store pharmacy counter at one of UHCSR's Preferred Retailers for OTC at-home COVID-19 tests: To get OTC at-home COVID-19 test(s) at no upfront cost, you must make your purchase at a UHCSR Preferred Retailer — and be sure you bring your member ID card with you.
  2. Visit any other in-store or online retailer: You may submit a receipt for reimbursement online at along with the completion of a reimbursement form.
    • Maximum reimbursement of up to $12 per test, limited to eight per month per covered individual.
    • Many COVID-19 tests are sold as a two-pack kit (up to $12 for each test) and would be reimbursed at a maximum of up to $24 per kit.

While FDA-authorized OTC at-home COVID-19 PCR tests are not included in the Preferred Retailer Program, they are covered — certain restrictions and limits apply.

For additional information on the process for test kits and reimbursement forms for SHIP-insured students at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, click here and select COVID-19 Home Test Member Reimbursement.

Currently, SHIP students can receive the vaccine at $0 cost-share.

UHCSR will issue updates via its website at Students enrolled in SHIP can also visit the My Account section to register to receive messages.

COVID-19 Testing Locations

Please take advantage of these resources below to find a free at-home test or to get tested at a clinic. Please check with each clinic to see if they offer free tests or work with certain insurance plans:

Order four free at-home COVID tests from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and have them delivered via the U.S. Postal Service at

The Maryland Department of Health has a website,, with testing locations and expiration dates for at-home tests. Please visit this link for a list of local health department websites, where you will find individual locations offering free at-home tests.

Please note that the State Center COVID-19 Vaccination, Testing, and Treatment Site, 300 W. Preston St., will close on Saturday, Feb. 25.

Baltimore City Health Department lists a weekly schedule of vaccination and testing sites here, including Enoch Pratt Free Library locations that stock at-home COVID-19 tests.

Nomi Health Care is offering both rapid antigen and PCR tests at a mobile clinic located at 419 W. Baltimore St. Walk-ins are accepted during limited hours. To avoid a long wait, you may schedule a test on Nomi's appointment website.

Testing appointments are offered at the Student Health Center through this scheduling application for students with symptoms or recent exposures. However, the best option for students wanting to schedule an appointment for an on-campus COVID-19 diagnostic test is to call directly at 667-214-1899.

Students and employees living outside of Maryland should visit their state health department’s website for information on COVID-19 testing available in their state. A link to each state’s health department can be found here.

COVID-19 testing and vaccine information can also be found at the UMB COVID-19 website.

Stay Healthy,

Marianne Cloeren, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine
UMB Public Health Officer