To prepare for the cold, flu and COVID season, the Biden-Harris Administration relaunched the program to provide free Covid-19 home tests to Americans. As of Monday, September, 25, all US households can place an order to receive four free COVID-19 rapid tests.
The at-home tests are completely free and are expected to ship starting October 2, 2023. The post office expects to deliver orders 7-10 business days after they are placed. People can use the tests now until the end of 2023.
If you need help placing an order, call 1-800-232-0233.
Why was the program restarted?
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on September 20 that it would relaunch the program to increase domestic production of at-home test kits. This keeps stock high in stores and in homes.
“Manufacturing COVID-19 tests in the United States strengthens our preparedness for the upcoming fall and winter seasons, reduces our reliance on other countries, and provides good jobs to hardworking Americans,” said Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell.
The program is meant to make it easy for Americans to test for COVID in their own homes. Testing and prevention helps slow the spread of the virus during peak season.
What type of tests will arrive?
Anyone who places an order will receive four rapid at-home antigen tests. These tests are easy to use, and people get results quickly. People can be take them anywhere and the test is complete in no more than 30 minutes.
Keep in mind rapid tests work best when a person has symptoms of the virus. However, they can be used as a first precautionary step, if a person is sick or has been exposed to the virus.
When should I test for COVID?
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people test if they have any COVID-19 symptoms. Symptoms include sore throat, runny nose, loss of smell or taste, or a fever.
People should test at least five days after they’ve come into close contact with someone with the virus, even if they don’t have symptoms. The CDC also recommends people perform tests for multiple days, if they have symptoms or have been in close contact with someone with the virus.
If you or a family member tests positive, you can follow the see the latest CDC guidelines for isolation and/or wearing a mask.
Does health insurance cover at-home COVID tests?
Insurance companies are required to reimburse for over-the-counter COVID test kits. They are required to cover up to eight tests per person, per month. It applies to all at-home tests covered under the emergency use authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Contact your insurance company directly with any questions about this coverage.