How to Get 8 More Free At-Home COVID Tests From the Government
If you already got your first two rounds of free at-home COVID tests from the federal government, you can now order eight more free tests for your household. Tests are free regardless of whether you have health insurance.
On May 16, the government reopened its website covidtests.gov to allow households to order another eight free COVID tests. When it first launched in January, the website allowed each household to order four tests. In March, the website allowed households to order another four tests.
The Biden administration first made free home tests available in early 2022, when COVID cases were surging due to the Omicron variant. As cases waned, demand for home tests plummeted. But as of May 19, COVID-19 cases have risen 57% nationwide over the past 14 days, according to U.S. Health and Human Services data reported by The New York Times.
How to Get 8 More Free COVID Tests
The free rapid antigen tests the government is offering deliver results in 30 minutes. PCR tests aren’t available. Tests ship within seven to 12 days, according to the website.
Signing up for your free tests is incredibly simple. 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. You can currently order eight free tests for each residential address, no matter how many household members you have.
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. Depending on your health insurance, you may 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]ennyhoarder.com.