Where to order and get free coronavirus home tests

  • Federal health officials have reopened a government website that processes orders for rapid home COVID tests, delivered free of charge.
  • Households within the United States can now order eight additional test kits for free at COVIDTests.gov.
  • Those who have already redeemed the offer for free one-way-delivered test kits can pick up additional free at-home test kits at select federal testing centers.
  • For those with private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid, insurance providers they are increasingly required to reimburse you at least $12 per test (if not more) up to eight times a month.
  • Learn more about the rules for getting reimbursed for in-home COVID-19 testing fees below.

    Americans can now order a third round of free COVID-19 test kits to be used at home, free of charge, through a federal health site that has been established in COVIDTests.gov by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Conducted by U.S. Postal Service carriers, eight free at-home COVID-19 test kits will be delivered to every U.S. address, with many orders shipping before the first summer holidays.

    People will be asked to register for eight COVID-19 antigen rapid test kits through a USPS ordering portal after visiting the federal site; according to the instructions shared on the site, orders will be shipped in separate packages. Americans will receive two separate confirmation emails after submitting their application, with follow-up information for two packets containing four tests each.

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    White House officials announced the expansion of additional free tests in mid-May, citing the spread of Omicron-driven COVID-19 cases across the country as a reason for Americans to continue to monitor their health frequently. More than 350 million free tests have been delivered to homes as part of the federal health initiative, “with the majority of tests delivered by the US Postal Service within 48 hours of shipment,” they said. The authorities.

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

    How to request free COVID-19 home testing:

    Simply visit COVIDTests.gov and select “Request Free Home Testing” on 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. While no additional identification or health insurance information is required, federal officials have limited COVID-19 testing orders to one per household; if you lived in a shared residence, be sure to list your apartment or unit number, or 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 seven to 12 days of processing before they are shipped.

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

    Americans who have health insurance, either purchased through the federal marketplace or through their employer, may be eligible for free at-home COVID-19 testing at a local pharmacy or retail store: or, at a minimum, you can get full or partial reimbursement for up to eight home tests per month.

    According to materials published by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, insured individuals can request free FDA-approved COVID-19 home diagnostic tests if their selected insurance plan provides direct coverage. . But even if your insurance doesn’t cover the cost of an at-home test kit up front, federal programs allow you to get a full refund for the full cost of the test you paid for.

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

    “If your plan has established a network of preferred providers where you can get a test at no out-of-pocket cost, you can still get tests from other retailers outside of that network,” the HHS site reads. “Insurance companies are required to reimburse you at a rate of up to $12 per individual test, or the cost of the test itself, if it’s less than $12.”

    But most insurance plans have gone ahead and authorized free at-home test kits given a new insurance rule that allows people to request full refunds.

    “If the plan or insurer does not establish a process through which individuals can obtain a test with no upfront costs, then the plan and insurer must reimburse the full cost of the test, even if the test costs more than $12,” HHS said. keep going.

    Pharmacies like CVS are also making it easier for customers to order home test kits using their health insurance card directly. Most of the time, Americans can order home test kits online using their insurance plan information at “zero out-of-pocket cost and without the need to file a claim with [your] health insurance provider,” says a CVS Health representative Good Housekeeping.

    The pharmacy chain allows those with in-network plans to pick up their tests at any chosen store using this method. In addition, some plans allow people to pay for at-home tests with their insurance card at a CVS in-store pharmacy counter, with no advance notice required.

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

    While it is true that some testing providers have prevented people without insurance 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 offering free home COVID-19 testing for people enrolled in Medicare is listed here; the same general limit applies, capped at eight free trials each month.

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    For those with Medicaid, the American Rescue Plan requires state programs to cover in-home COVID-19 testing for policyholders, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “People with Medicare coverage Medicaid or CHIP should contact their state Medicaid or CHIP agency for information on coverage details for COVID-19 home testing, as coverage rules may vary by state.” HHS on the same web page.

    Those with exclusive Medicare Part A plans and no supplemental coverage cannot afford home test kits through the American Rescue Plan provisions. But HHS and state health officials have set up more than 10,000 community-based pharmacy testing sites across the country, where many at-home kits will be available to those who need them, as noted by the Human Services Administration. and HHS Health Resources.

    If you’re looking for free home testing kits, regardless of the type of Medicare you’re enrolled in, start by visiting one of the federally funded HHS testing sites near you. “People without insurance can also get free testing at home at some 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, visit the online resources provided by the CDC, WHO, and your local public health department.

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