Americans will soon be able to get free at-home Covid-19 tests. Beginning Saturday, January 15, anyone enrolled in a private health insurance plan will be eligible to be reimbursed for tests purchased on or after January 15, 2022. Tests can be purchased online or in-store. (Be sure to check out our guide to where to buy Covid-19 tests).
The reimbursement program is part of the Biden administration’s efforts to increase testing and reduce the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant, which has led to an increase 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 through a government website that will begin taking orders on Wednesday, January 19. Here’s how to get your free Covid-19 at home 19 trial.
How to get free Covid-19 tests if you have insurance
Starting this Saturday, Americans with private health insurance will be able to get free at-home Covid-19 tests. (Tests must be purchased on or after January 15, 2022). Insurers will cover any over-the-counter Covid-19 test that has been granted emergency use authorization (EUA) by the FDA. (You can find a full list of tests covered here). You won’t need a prescription to buy a test kit, and providers must pay for up to eight tests (per person covered) per month.
Although the Biden administration is encouraging insurers to allow people to take the tests free of charge, it remains 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 buy free at-home Covid-19 tests, while others may require you to file a claim. Testing will not be subject to copayments or deductibles.
In addition, any insured person can purchase any home Covid-19 test of their choice. However, insurance companies would only have to reimburse up to $12 for each test purchased.
Next week, the Biden administration will also announce plans for Americans to receive high-quality face masks for free.
How to get free Covid-19 tests if you don’t have insurance or are on Medicare
If you’re uninsured — or covered by Medicare — the Biden administration has launched a website (https://www.covidtests.gov) where you can request free Covid-19 home tests delivered to your home.
US health officials say they have bought a billion tests which they will offer for free. The first 500 million tests will be available to order starting Wednesday, January 19, 2022. They will ship via USPS within 7-12 days of ordering. Each residential address will be limited to four tests.
Where to buy Covid-19 home tests online
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