Where to order and get free home coronavirus tests

  • Federal health officials have reopened a government website that is processing orders for rapid home COVID tests, delivered for free.
  • Households in the United States can now order eight additional test kits for free on COVIDTests.gov.
  • Those who have already used the offer of free test kits delivered to one address can request additional free test kits at home at certain federal test centers.
  • For those with private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, insurers are increasingly required to reimburse you at least $12 per test (if not more) up to eight times per month.
  • Learn more about COVID-19 home test fee reimbursement rules below.

    Americans can now order a third round of free COVID-19 test kits for use at home, free of charge, through a federal health site that has been established at COVIDTests.gov by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Shipped by the United States Postal Service, eight free COVID-19 home test kits will be delivered to every household address in the United States, with many orders shipping ahead of the first summer vacation.

    Individuals will be asked to register for eight COVID-19 antigen rapid test kits through a USPS order portal after visiting the federal site — per instructions shared onsite, orders will be shipped in separate packages. Americans will then receive two separate confirmation emails after submitting their application, with tracking information for two packages containing four tests each.

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    White House officials announced the expansion of additional free testing in mid-May, citing the spread of Omicron-powered COVID-19 cases across the country as a reason Americans continue to frequently monitor their health. . More than 350 million free tests have been delivered to households under the federal health initiative, with “most tests delivered by the U.S. Postal Service within 48 hours of shipment,” officials said.

    But if you’ve already claimed up to 16 free tests through USPS delivery, there are still ways to receive free COVID-19 test kits at home through local Medicaid programs as well as your private insurance. Read more to find out how you can get free COVID-19 tests this summer.

    How to order free COVID-19 home tests:

    Simply visit COVIDTests.gov and select “Order Free Home Tests” from the site’s home page. From there, you will be directed to a USPS site where you will share your contact information and desired shipping information. Although information about health insurance or other identification is not required, federal authorities have limited COVID-19 test orders to one per household – if you lived in a shared residence, be sure to indicate your apartment or unit number, otherwise your order may not be processed.

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    Shared family households can currently only receive 8 test kits per order. HHS officials note on the website that packages typically require between seven and 12 days to process before being shipped.

    How to get free COVID-19 test kits from pharmacies and other retailers:

    Americans who are medically insured, purchased on the federal market or through their employer, may be eligible for free at-home COVID-19 testing at a local pharmacy or retailer – or, at the very least, can get full or partial reimbursement for up to eight home tests per month.

    According to documents released by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, insured people can request free FDA-approved home COVID-19 diagnostic tests if their selected insurance plan offers direct coverage. But even if your insurance doesn’t cover the initial cost of a home test kit, federal programs allow you to be fully reimbursed for the full cost of the test you paid.

    And if your plan requires you to purchase a certain type of test from a particular pharmacy to receive full benefits, you’re still eligible for a partial refund if you provide your receipt as proof of purchase.

    “If your plan has set up a network of preferred vendors from which you can get a test at no cost, you can still get tests from other retailers outside of that network,” the HHS site says. “Insurance companies are required to reimburse you for up to $12 per individual test, or the cost of the test itself, if it’s less than $12.”

    But the majority of insurance plans have gone ahead and allowed free home test kits in light of a new insurance rule that allows individuals to claim full reimbursement.

    “If the plan or insurer does not have a process in place whereby individuals can obtain a test at no upfront cost, then the plan and insurer must reimburse the full cost of the test, even if the test costs more than $12. $”, HHS continues.

    Pharmacies like CVS are also making it easier for customers to order home test kits directly using their health insurance card. More often than not, Americans can place an order for home test kits online using their insurance plan information at “no upfront cost and no need to submit a claim to [your] health insurance provider,” a CVS Health representative said. Good Housekeeping.

    The pharmacy chain allows those with in-network plans to pick up their tests at any chosen store using this method. Additionally, some plans allow individuals to pay for at-home testing using their insurance card at an in-store CVS pharmacy counter, without notice.

    How to get free COVID-19 tests through Medicare or Medicaid:

    While it’s true that some testing providers have blocked uninsured people from receiving free COVID-19 tests, even those with only access to Medicare or Medicaid can find additional free COVID-19 tests at home. The list of pharmacies that offer free at-home COVID-19 testing for people enrolled in Medicare is listed here; the same general limit applies, with a cap of eight free tests each month.

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    For those on Medicaid, the U.S. bailout requires state programs to cover at-home COVID-19 testing for policyholders, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “People with Medicaid or CHIP coverage should contact their national Medicaid or CHIP agency for information regarding coverage details for COVID-19 home testing, as coverage rules may vary by state,” HHS says. on the same webpage.

    Those with only one Medicare Part A plan and no additional coverage cannot pay for home testing kits through the US bailout provisions. But HHS and state health officials have established more than 10,000 community pharmacy testing sites across the country, where many at-home kits will be available for those in need, as noted. administration of HHS health resources and services.

    If you’re looking for free at-home testing kits, regardless of what type of health insurance you have, start by visiting one of the federally funded HHS testing sites near you. “People without insurance can also get free at-home testing at select community health centers,” HHS officials noted.

    As more information about the coronavirus pandemic develops, some of the information in this story may have changed since it was last updated. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, please consult online resources provided by the CDC, WHO, and your local public health department.

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