DOES HEALTH INSURANCE COVER COVID TESTS?
At this point in the pandemic, surely many of those who are reading this have already gone through the experience of taking a test for the detection of coronavirus. There are different situations in which we can find ourselves and that require the realization of one of these tests. Although there are more and more advances and new techniques are being discovered, the best known are antigen tests, serological tests, rapid antibody tests and PCR (so called by its English name - Polymerase Chain Reaction polymerase enzyme-).Each of them offers us results that can be interpreted, depending on how long we have been in contact with a positive (or the days that we have been presenting symptoms). Although at the beginning of the world crisis there was a great shortage of these tests (or they were not known at all), it was very difficult to take a test. Now, practically all health insurance gives us facilities to be able to do one if we wish, or as long as it is necessary to be able to travel to certain destinations, until the time comes when the entire population is suitably vaccinated.
Difference between the different tests
Antigens : a sample is taken through the nasopharynx in order to discover virus proteins. In about 15 minutes we will have a result. But the first tests that appeared were not extremely sensitive, so their reliability in the eyes of the population was not very established. Now they have been improved and for a first approach and screen the citizens, they are great. They offer speed and an affordable price, in addition to the speed with which we have the results, but the sensitivity is still lower than that of the pcr.
Serological : here we have to do an analysis through which we can detect antibodies generated to deal with this virus. If it is positive, your sample will have immunoglobulin recognizing the virus so you have been in contact with it. Here the acronyms that you have already heard many times come into play: IgM (if it is positive, it confirms that your infection has been contracted a short time ago) and IgC (which expresses that the moment of infection is more distant in time) . The disadvantage is that a negative does not necessarily mean that you do not have COVID19 or have not had that contact we are talking about, but that the antibodies are at such a low level that they are undetectable. This test must be done in a laboratory and it can take to know your results from a few hours to a few days.
Rapid antibody tests: these rapid tests will also tell us in about fifteen minutes whether or not we have antibodies. What they are looking for is the same as the serological ones, but their sensitivity is lower. Here we do not need a traditional analysis as in the previous option, but simply a small prick on the tip of a finger that gives us a drop of blood will be enough.
PCR : this test, the most complete, seeks to detect part of genetic material, in this case a specific RNA (ribonucleic acid) molecule. The sample is respiratory and if this material is not found, the existence of the infection could not be assured, although if the sample has not been collected perfectly, it could be the case of a false negative. If a virus is suspected in that patient, a second test should be performed if a negative result is obtained. Of course, this test cannot be done too early since the viral load could still be too low to be detected, although PCRs are recognized as tests or tests to diagnose the presence of the virus in our body early.
What does my health insurance offer me?
If your insurance is Sanitas , you have an antigen test included in your insurance until July 31, 2021 . It is available for those people who, being asymptomatic, have been in close contact with a positive in the previous seven days or for patients with symptoms that are compatible with the disease. At Mapfre, you can hire antigen tests and PCRs at affordable prices. Adela's , for its part, has covered for its insured the tests that detect COVID19 ( PCRs and antigen tests ) whenever they present symptoms that make one suspect that they are carriers of the virus, that a doctor has evaluated them and that accompany their request for a prescription of the same physician.The reality is that, at this time, only Sanitas offers its insured the possibility of undergoing some of these tests at no cost to the insured and without the need for symptoms. Other companies do have certain requirements such as those described above. Of course, many of the health insurance companies offer the possibility of taking the test that we choose or recommend at a lower price than a person who was not insured would have.The truth is that both in some and in others, if we are going to travel to a country or countries that have these types of restrictions imposed at the time of our displacement to authorize the entry of tourists , it is highly advisable that we speak with our insurance advisor that will inform us of the possibilities that we have with our medical insurance at the time of doing a test to know if the virus hides in our body.