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How to get your free at-home Covid test kits

Americans will soon be able to obtain free at-home Covid-19 tests. Beginning on Saturday, January 15, anyone enrolled in a private health insurance plan will be able to get reimbursed for tests purchased on or after January 15, 2022. The tests can be purchased online or in-store. (Make sure to check out our guide on where to buy Covid-19 tests).

The reimbursement program is part of the Biden administration’s effort to increase testing and decrease the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant, which has led to a surge in Covid-19 cases across the country. 

Americans with Medicare — or those without private health insurance — will be able to order free at-home Covid-19 tests via a government website that will begin taking orders on Wednesday, January 19. Here’s how to get your free at-home Covid-19 test. 

How to get free Covid-19 tests if you have insurance

Beginning this Saturday, Americans with private health insurance will be able to get at-home Covid-19 tests for free. (The tests must be purchased on or after January 15, 2022). Insurance providers will cover any over-the-counter Covid-19 test that has received emergency use authorization (EUA) by the FDA. (You can find a full list of covered tests here). You will not need a prescription to purchase a test kit and providers must pay for up to eight tests (per covered individual) per month.

Although the Biden administration is encouraging insurers to allow people to get the tests with no out-of-pocket costs, it’s still unclear how private insurance companies will offer these free tests. 

Some providers may set up a network of preferred stores or online retailers where you can purchase at-home Covid-19 tests for free, whereas others may require you to file a claim. The tests will not be subject to copays or deductibles.

Additionally, anyone with insurance can buy any at-home Covid-19 test they chose. However, insurance companies would only have to reimburse up to $12 for each test purchased. 

How to get free Covid-19 tests if you have no insurance or if you’re on Medicare

(Image credit: Future)

If you’re not insured — or if you’re covered by Medicare — the Biden administration has launched a website (https://www.covidtests.gov)  where you’ll be able to request free at-home Covid-19 tests delivered to your home. 

U.S. health officials say they have purchased one billion tests that they will offer for free. The first 500 million tests will be available for order starting on Wednesday, January 19, 2022. They will ship via USPS within 7 to twelve days of ordering. Each residential address will be limited to four tests. 

Where to purchase at-home Covid-19 tests online

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