GET FREE AT-HOME COVID-19 TESTS AT COVIDTESTS.GOV
Starting this week, free Covid-19 at-home tests are available to all Americans at covidtests.gov. The first tests will ship by the end of January. The White House says “tests will typically ship within 7-12 days of ordering” through the U.S. Postal Service. USPS reports shipping times of 1-3 days for its first-class package service in the continental United States. Shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, Army Post Office (APO), Fleet Post Office (FPO) and Diplomatic Post Office (DPO) addresses will be sent through Priority Mail.
IMPORTANT: Given the shipping and process times, Americans will need to request the tests well before they meet federal guidelines for requiring a test.
WHEN SHOULD I TEST?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at-home testing when people experience COVID-19 systems including fever, cough, sore throat, respiratory symptoms and muscle aches; five days after a potential COVID-19 exposure; or as part of test-to-stay protocols in schools and workplaces.
HOW MANY TESTS CAN I ORDER FROM THE WEBSITE?
The White House says that “to promote broad access,” shipments from covidtests.gov will initially be limited to four rapid tests per residential address, no matter the number of occupants.
IS THERE ANOTHER WAY TO GET A TEST KIT FOR FREE?
Starting this month, private insurers will be required to cover the cost of up to eight at-home rapid tests per month per insured person, according to a new Biden administration rule.
People will have the option of buying tests at a store or online, then seeking reimbursement from their health insurance provider. Insurers are being incentivized to work with pharmacies and retailers to develop plans to cover the cost of the tests with no out-of-pocket cost to customers, but those programs will not be immediately widespread.
Those with public health insurance through Medicare, or without insurance, will be directed to covidtests.gov to order tests or to community health centers in their area offering free testing.