Starting this week, you can request four free at-home COVID-19 tests. Find out how.
- Beginning Jan. 19, every American household can request free at-home COVID-19 tests.
- You can request up to four tests per household via COVIDTests.gov.
- Many insurance companies are also reimbursing certain test expenses.
At times, COVID-19 tests have been hard to come by in the U.S. But testing is a powerful and necessary health tool. In December, the Biden administration announced some upcoming changes to help make testing more accessible and more affordable. One such change requires insurance companies to pay for at-home COVID-19 tests. The administration also announced that it would make free at-home tests available to households across the U.S in the coming days. Here’s how it works.
How to request your free tests
Beginning on Jan. 19, you can go to COVIDTests.gov to request free at-home COVID-19 tests. A free call line will also be set up for people who can’t access the website to place an order.
After ordering, tests should ship within seven to 12 days. The government is partnering with the U.S. Postal Service to get tests out. There are no shipping charges or other costs.
While these free tests won’t arrive instantly, they can be helpful to have on hand. This is especially true since many pharmacies and retail stores have been running out of at-home tests due to the increased demand. If you’ve been struggling to find tests, this is an excellent opportunity to order some in case you need them in the future.
Other ways to get free tests
In addition to the above resource, there are other ways to get free tests.
As of Jan. 15, many health insurance companies are required to reimburse for the cost of at-home COVID-19 tests. They must reimburse up to $12 per individual test. Some health insurers may choose preferred pharmacies and retail locations where consumers can pick up tests without paying out-of-pocket costs.
The government also plans to distribute 50 million at-home COVID-19 tests to community health centers and rural health clinics.
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