The Biden administration announced on Monday that private health insurers will soon cover the cost of eight over-the-counter at-home tests per covered individual every month. The policy goes into effect on Saturday.

The New York Times explains:

People will be able to get the tests at their health plan’s “preferred” pharmacies and other retailers with no out-of-pocket costs, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. They can also buy the tests elsewhere and file claims for reimbursement, just as they often do for medical care.

“Today’s action further removes financial barriers and expands access to Covid-19 tests for millions of people,” Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, the Biden administration’s Medicare and Medicaid chief, said in a statement about the new guidelines.

“This is all part of our overall strategy to ramp-up access to easy-to-use, at-home tests at no cost,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra stated in a news release Monday.

Approximately 150 million Americans have private health insurance. Medicaid already covers FDA approved at-home tests.

In addition, the federal government will begin distributing 500 million at-home tests “early next week,” according to the White House.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration is establishing a website and a hotline where Americans can request the free tests.

The Times adds:

That plan, along with the new rules for insurers announced Monday, is part of a broader effort by the Biden administration in recent weeks to catch up to skyrocketing demand for rapid tests, as virus cases have exploded around the nation with the arrival of the highly contagious Omicron variant.

The administration has also announced plans to make tens of millions of free tests available for uninsured Americans at health clinics and other sites in underserved communities. And it has recently opened federally run test sites in hard-hit regions of the country.