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Update 9/14/21: Princess U.S. vaccinated guests can order an FDA-authorized at-home antigen test


LACruiser88
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This was updated yesterday on the Princess web site:

 

For U.S. guests, Princess has partnered with Quest Diagnostics to provide scheduling to no-cost* COVID-19 test appointments, with test results delivered within 48 hours after taking your test. Find a testing location near you.

 

You can also contact your nearest health center, pharmacy (including CVS and Walgreens), state health department, or transiting airport to learn more about their availability for COVID-19 testing.

 

Princess has also partnered with Optum so that U.S.-based vaccinated guests can order an FDA-authorized at-home antigen test kit, shipped to your door in 3 business days or less. These at-home tests include a personal virtually video-supervised visit with an eMed Certified Guide through telehealth services. These guides will help you properly administer the test and verify the results, within 15 minutes. The lab result report is delivered via email and can be printed or displayed on your mobile device during check-in. Please place your order with enough time to be shipped prior to your boarding. Order your test kit online.

*This COVID-19 no-cost-to-you program is available to eligible individuals for $0 out of pocket when billed to a health plan or the government.

Edited by LACruiser88
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I ordered these tests. I paid up front and was able to obtain reimbursement from my Health Savings Account by sending the documentation. I have seen others report sending reimbursement requests to their plan (mine is a high-deductible plan, so no use in doing that). I had a great experience going through the testing process and had no trouble boarding last Sunday with the results. The FAQs mentioned this as an option prior to this announcement, but I had not seen anyone indicate they had used it. I do not have low-cost rapid testing near me, so this would have been less expensive than the other testing available to me (that I would have to drive a distance to obtain). Optum was pretty quick with the shipping also.

 

ETA: I see that there has been IRS guidance that this testing can be covered by high-deductible health plans. My carrier notes travel as an exception to coverage, but it's good to know that it may be covered with no out-of-pocket expense for others with high-deductible health plans.

Edited by starboardcruiser
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I also purchased this kits for our Oct 31 and Nov 22 cruises.  I’ve submitted my receipt to Kaiser for reimbursement.  The process takes about 90 days to get refunded but I’m assured by my doctor that I will be.

 

I’ve viewed some of the YouTube videos out there on taking the test.  I’m comfortable with doing this rather than stressing about an in person appointment.

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I am a diabetic and have to go get my blood tested all the time. When I went to Quest 2 weeks ago and they new nothing about this so called partnership. Has anyone actually done it with Quest? Thank you

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11 minutes ago, rabin1 said:

I am a diabetic and have to go get my blood tested all the time. When I went to Quest 2 weeks ago and they new nothing about this so called partnership. Has anyone actually done it with Quest? Thank you

If I am not mistaken it is only some Quest locations participating in this

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1 hour ago, memoak said:

If I am not mistaken it is only some Quest locations participating in this

When I checked the map for our local locations (LA area), the locations were minimal.  Last week I read that Carnival Corp (which would include all of their brands) was working on a plan for 1,500 Quest locations nationwide.  It was also to include some Walmart locations.  Still waiting to see it materialize...

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For cruisers in Ohio check ohio.emed.com - free test pickup locations link.  You may be able to pick up a free test if there is a location near you.  These are the approved monitored BinaxNow tests. Watch your dates though, they seem to expire in Dec/Jan. I got some this week to use for our Nov cruise. 

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Be aware, Optum and emed are shipping tests near expiration. Mine expire on 10/15, although they are extending actual expiration 3 months, to 1/15. Shady practice, especially for those hoping to use them for cruises next year. Carnival also announced today that their promise of port testing is cancelled, since it would cost them too much. Funny, NCL manages to test everyone at the port for free, with no hunting for tests and hoping for results in time, no promoting home tests near expiration date, and no insurance issues. 

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1 hour ago, rj59 said:

port testing is cancelled,

Although that sounds positive  i do not want to test positive across the country and then be stuck there. Quest & at home is more reassuring just in the off chance I'm positive

 

 

Edited by Ombud
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6 hours ago, disneyochem said:

I also purchased this kits for our Oct 31 and Nov 22 cruises.  I’ve submitted my receipt to Kaiser for reimbursement.  The process takes about 90 days to get refunded but I’m assured by my doctor that I will be.

 

I’ve viewed some of the YouTube videos out there on taking the test.  I’m comfortable with doing this rather than stressing about an in person appointment.

Found your comment interesting based on your statement regarding Kaiser.  I too am a Kaiser member - Senior Advantage plan.    The only test I have had was early February for our trip to Hawaii.  I contacted Kaiser and they would do my test but due to all the tests being done at that time due to all the cases, they could not guarantee getting mine in time.  I used a lab approved by Hawaii and it cost $150 for results in 15 minutes.     I never submitted for reimbursement as I felt it would not be paid since it was for travel, and out of network.  And my Hawaii trip had been rescheduled 3 times.  I would have paid any reasonable amount to go - for the cost of the trip for a month in Maui,  what was another $150 😁

 

Do you think with all the travel options demanding testing it can be reimbursed now?

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3 hours ago, rj59 said:

Be aware, Optum and emed are shipping tests near expiration. Mine expire on 10/15, although they are extending actual expiration 3 months, to 1/15. Shady practice, especially for those hoping to use them for cruises next year. Carnival also announced today that their promise of port testing is cancelled, since it would cost them too much. Funny, NCL manages to test everyone at the port for free, with no hunting for tests and hoping for results in time, no promoting home tests near expiration date, and no insurance issues. 

I received my tests from Optum this afternoon.   Order placed September 3, delivery estimated September 6, received September 15.   The expiration date on the box is September 21, 2021, a sticker on the box indicates expiration extended 3 months.    We will be using them for a November cruise where the testing window opens Thanksgiving Day.

Buyer Beware.

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Do hope Princess does not forget we Canadians.  It would take nothing to have  these tests shipped to us too. The internet  and zoom come here too! We presently have no option in most of our provinces except a PCR test which costs 199.00 CDN plus tax per person.  It is overkill as a rapid antigen is all that is required . Yes, Ontario and Alberta I know you can get the cheaper ones, but due to a monopoly by Life Labs we  in B C cannot.  Hope you will stand with us on this issue!?  . 
 

At the very least, Princess could  reimburse us  a set amount as a good will gesture. We represent a fair percentage og cruisers!   Rant over.

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I ordered directly from eMed.com on Sunday and got our tests Tuesday.  The extended expiration is authorized by FDA so no problem with that unless you were hoping to use the tests next year.  We plan to use 2 pre-cruise and 2 more tests several days after we return from our fall cruise, so we don't need to stay away from friends and family for many days like we chose to do for their protection after our August Alaska cruise.

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When ordering the tests from Optum, you need to enter questions, starting with your birthdate. Is it OK to order tests for more than one person in the same order, or do you need to place a separate order for each person?

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16 minutes ago, redrobin said:

When ordering the tests from Optum, you need to enter questions, starting with your birthdate. Is it OK to order tests for more than one person in the same order, or do you need to place a separate order for each person?

Each test must be linked to a user, so that when you perform the witnessed procedure, it is linked to that person. I haven't ordered but it seems it is one order placed for multiple tests and you enter the info for each person.

One person reported that he purchased a pack of 6 tests and just put his info in, so now can not use them for his family,  only him.

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9 hours ago, muffin said:

Do hope Princess does not forget we Canadians.  It would take nothing to have  these tests shipped to us too. The internet  and zoom come here too! We presently have no option in most of our provinces except a PCR test which costs 199.00 CDN plus tax per person.  It is overkill as a rapid antigen is all that is required . Yes, Ontario and Alberta I know you can get the cheaper ones, but due to a monopoly by Life Labs we  in B C cannot.  Hope you will stand with us on this issue!?  . 
 

At the very least, Princess could  reimburse us  a set amount as a good will gesture. We represent a fair percentage of cruisers!   Rant over.

Do you have a friend or family member you could ship them to in USA and they forward on to you?

 

I think one of the problems here is that the Feds have dragged their feet on alternate tests and I imagine providers are reluctant to make them available when the tests are not in wide usage in Canada.  They would need to go through approval hoops.  Maybe we will have a new government next Monday night.

 

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11 hours ago, muffin said:

Do hope Princess does not forget we Canadians.  It would take nothing to have  these tests shipped to us too. The internet  and zoom come here too! We presently have no option in most of our provinces except a PCR test which costs 199.00 CDN plus tax per person.  It is overkill as a rapid antigen is all that is required . Yes, Ontario and Alberta I know you can get the cheaper ones, but due to a monopoly by Life Labs we  in B C cannot.  Hope you will stand with us on this issue!?  . 
 

At the very least, Princess could  reimburse us  a set amount as a good will gesture. We represent a fair percentage og cruisers!   Rant over.

I've been noticing a few drive-through testing sites  springing up very recently here in Canada. Right now, they are available in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, all offering RAT and PCR tests, so OK for travel to the US and for Princess. For some reason, the Vancouver site is a lot more expensive at $C130 vs only $C80 here in Montreal for the Rapid Antigen test, but it may be worth a look if the mail-in tests aren't available up here.

 

https://www.gorapidtest.ca/

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5 minutes ago, Mflem1278 said:

I can't find this on the Princess website.  Can you tell me where you found this info?  I want to send the page link to some others in my traveling party.  THANK YOU.

 

Here you go...

 

https://www.princess.com/plan/cruise-with-confidence/cruise-health/frequently-asked-questions/us-cruises/

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Assuming this testing policy continues through next year...

My concern is that we have booked flights to London to arrive 3 nights before our

British Isles cruise.

Suggestions for getting tested 48 hours before embarkation? Flying in a few days before embarkation is very common. And then praying the results are negative while in a foreign country.

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13 hours ago, redrobin said:

When ordering the tests from Optum, you need to enter questions, starting with your birthdate. Is it OK to order tests for more than one person in the same order, or do you need to place a separate order for each person?

I ordered from Optum and was asked for a date of birth, so I put my own. At no place in the ordering engine was I ever asked for name(s). Seeing what folks are saying here, I'm unhappy since I thought I had things covered. I've emailed Optum to ask specifically if the two tests I purchased can be used one each for the both of us.

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