COVID-19 Testing Coverage

Employees and their dependents have access to COVID-19 testing at no cost. Information regarding your coverage options is provided below.

Every household in the U.S. is eligible to order free at-home COVID-19 tests from the federal government. You do not need to be covered under the Syracuse University health plan to be eligible. For more information and to submit your order, visit

For employees and dependents who are covered under the University’s employee health plan, you can access FDA-approved COVID-19 testing related services at no cost through Excellus BCBS and Optum Rx.

Coverage through Excellus BCBS

Your cost for FDA-approved COVID-19 testing related services will be waived when you use your Excellus BCBS insurance card. This generally includes diagnostic tests, as well as in-network provider office visits, in-network urgent care visits and emergency room visits necessary to obtain a COVID-19 diagnosis. If an in-network provider is not available, the health plan will cover testing through an out-of-network provider at no cost to the member. Any questions can be directed to our dedicated customer care team at Excellus BCBS at 800.493.0318 (TTY: 800.662.1220) Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m.-8 p.m. EST and Friday: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. EST, or by email to:

Coverage through Optum Rx

As of Jan. 15, 2022 and during the public health emergency, your cost for FDA-authorized at-home COVID-19 tests are covered.  When using your Optum Rx insurance card, qualifying COVID-19 at-home tests can be acquired for free from Optum Rx’s preferred retail partners, Kinney Drugs, Rite Aid, Sam’s Club, Walgreens and Walmart.  Additionally, you are eligible to be reimbursed for up to $12 toward the cost of a qualifying test purchased by submitting a manual claim request. Each covered member can be reimbursed for up to eight at-home COVID-19 tests per month (without a prescription). For more information and to request a claim reimbursement visit or contact Optum Rx at 866.854.2945 (TTY:711).

With this new guidance having just been released, processes and coverage rules may continue to evolve. For any questions, contact HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042.


Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained within this website is accurate. However, benefits are governed by legal documents (which, in certain circumstances, may include insurance contracts). If there is any difference between the information in this website and the official documents, the official documents will control. As is the case with all of Syracuse University’s employee benefit plans, the University reserves the right to modify or terminate these benefits at any time.