Americans can now obtain a third round of free at-home Covid-19 tests. Earlier this year, the Biden administration launched a website (https://www.covidtests.gov) that allowed Americans to order a maximum of four free at-home Covid-19 tests.
As of May 2022, Americans can ask for another batch of free tests. The rapid antigen tests can be taken from the comforts of your home and give results within 30 minutes. (No lab drop-off is required). The tests ship free within seven to 12 days.
Additionally, if you're enrolled in a private health insurance plan, you can now 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). Whether you have insurance or not, here's how to get your free at-home Covid-19 tests.
How to get free Covid-19 tests if you have no insurance or if you're on Medicare
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 can request free at-home Covid-19 tests delivered to your home.
U.S. health officials say they have purchased one billion tests that they're now offering for free. They will ship via USPS within 7 to twelve days of ordering. Each residential address will be limited to four tests.
How to get free Covid-19 tests if you have insurance
All Americans with private health insurance can now 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.
In the coming days, the Biden administration will also announce plans for Americans to receive free high quality face masks.