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At-home COVID testing kits will be free in 2022: Here’s how and where to get yours

COVID-19 home testing kit

Beginning in January, Individuals will be capable to get absolutely reimbursed for at-home COVID-19 testing kits.


Stephen Shankland/CNET

For essentially the most up-to-date information and details about the coronavirus pandemic, go to the WHO and CDC web sites.

As the vacations strategy and the new omicron variant swiftly strikes throughout the US, you might wish to contemplate stocking up on at-home COVID-19 check kits. The excellent news is that, beginning early subsequent 12 months, over-the-counter check kits can be accessible at no cost for everybody. Below a new plan announced by President Joe Biden, medical health insurance corporations quickly can be required to reimburse Individuals for the fast COVID-19 checks, which might value greater than $25 every.

Those that haven’t got medical health insurance may even have entry to free at-home COVID testing kits, and we’ll share all the small print under.

The administration coverage is a part of an effort to fight the 2 most important coronavirus mutations which can be dominant within the US: the damaging delta variant that took maintain over the summer season, and the brand new faster-spreading omicron pressure, which has been present in at the very least 39 states — together with California, Colorado and Maryland. (Here is how omicron is totally different from delta.) 

Omicron’s arrival simply as many are planning to journey for Christmas or New Yr’s has result in a scarcity of check kits and raised prices for testing applications in lots of states. In response, producers begun ramping up manufacturing and the FDA has been approving new checks at an unprecedented velocity: ACON Laboratories says will probably be capable of produce greater than 100 million Flowflex COVID-19 Residence Check kits per 30 days by the end of 2021, and greater than 200 million by February.

We’ll share what we all know now, and can proceed to replace this story as we be taught extra particulars, together with when this system begins and precisely the way it will work. Additionally, this is the most recent on Merck’s COVID antiviral tablet and how to decide on a booster shot.

Learn extra: Intelligent COVID booster shot trick: Textual content this quantity at no cost rides, straightforward appointments

When will free COVID-19 house check kits be accessible?

The White Home has mentioned it is going to concern reimbursement pointers by January 15, with well being insurers anticipated to start out reimbursing the price of at-home testing shortly after that date. The administration’s plan is just not retroactive, nonetheless, so kits bought through the holidays is not going to be lined. 

Some states, including Vermont, aren’t ready for Biden’s plan to take impact: They’ve mandated insurers to start out paying for at-home kits now. Chances are you’ll wish to examine together with your firm, as some personal employers have additionally begun providing reimbursement choices.

As soon as the White Home plan does take impact, anybody with insurance coverage be capable to submit a receipt or different proof of fee for reimbursement after shopping for a check. The method is much like visiting an on-site testing facility and submitting your invoice to a medical health insurance supplier.  

It is nonetheless unclear if some places will ask in your medical health insurance card and submit the invoice to your insurance coverage supplier for you, as some do once you take a check on-site. We’ll replace this story as we be taught extra.


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The place can I get an at-home COVID-19 check?

At-home fast COVID-19 checks can be found at pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS and Walmart. It’s also possible to purchase them on-line at Amazon, and the shops listed above. It is unclear presently when you can nonetheless declare them in your insurance coverage once you purchase on-line. Every field sometimes comes with two checks, until you purchase in bulk.

What if I haven’t got medical health insurance?

For these with out insurance coverage, Biden says there can be “hundreds of places” accessible to choose up COVID-19 check kits. You can take the package house to check in personal, reasonably than get swabbed in a drive-thru clinic.

The Biden administration has promised to distribute at the very least 50 million free checks to group well being facilities and different organizations, in line with The New York Times.

What ought to I do if my at-home check reveals constructive for COVID?

In case you take an at-home check and it says you are constructive for COVID-19, it is beneficial that you just flip your leads to to your well being care supplier. You need to keep house and isolate for 10 days, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

For extra data, this is the most recent on the federal vaccine mandate and the whole lot you could know concerning the Moderna booster shot.

The knowledge contained on this article is for instructional and informational functions solely and isn’t supposed as well being or medical recommendation. All the time seek the advice of a doctor or different certified well being supplier concerning any questions you will have a couple of medical situation or well being targets.

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