How to Get 4 More Free At-Home COVID Tests From the Government

A stock photo illustrates a COVID home test
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If you already got your four free at-home COVID tests from the federal government, you can now order four more free tests. Tests are free regardless of whether you have health insurance.

On March 8, the government website, covidtests.gov, started allowing households that previously received four free tests to order another round of tests. Households that haven’t already ordered their four free tests can now receive eight tests at no cost.

When the Biden administration first made free home tests available in January, COVID cases were surging due to the Omicron variant. But with cases waning, demand for home tests has plummeted. Now the federal government has an oversupply of tests.

How to Get 4 More Free COVID Tests

The government’s website allows every home in the U.S. to order free rapid antigen tests that deliver results in 30 minutes. PCR tests aren’t available. Tests are expected to ship within seven to 12 days, according to the website.

Signing up for your free tests is incredibly simple. The process is the same as it was in January, when the government first launched covidtests.gov. All you need to do is go to covidtests.gov and provide your name and address, plus an email address if you want shipping notifications. And that’s it.

The U.S. Postal Service will deliver the tests. Currently, the website limits you to four free tests for each residential address, no matter how many household members you have, if you’ve already received four free tests. If your household didn’t already order the tests, you can place an order for eight tests.

A health worker grabs two at-home COVID tests
Youngstown City Health Department worker Faith Terreri grabs two at-home COVID-19 test kits to be handed out during a distribution event, Dec. 30, 2021, in Youngstown, Ohio. David Dermer/AP

What About the 8 Free Tests Insurers Have to Provide?

Health insurance companies are required to pay for eight home tests per month for each person covered by the plan. However, many people are still finding that they need to pay out of pocket for the tests and submit a receipt for reimbursement.

You can access free tests for your household using the federal government’s website regardless of whether you have health insurance. The website doesn’t ask for insurance information, and no upfront payment is required.

What if I Can’t Wait for My Test?

If you can’t wait a week or two for your free tests and you have private insurance, you can pay for a home test and then get reimbursed for any upfront payment. Tests are now widely available at drug stores and pharmacies.

You can also access free and low-cost tests through a community testing center. To find a site, use HHS.gov’s testing center locator.

Robin Hartill is a certified financial planner and a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She writes the Dear Penny personal finance advice column. Send your tricky money questions to [email protected]


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