How to get your At-Home Over-The-Counter COVID-19 Test for Free
On Jan. 10, 2022, the Depts. of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury issued information on how the Biden-Harris administration is helping distribute free COVID tests to all Americans.
The tabs below will provide more info for every with or without insurance.
Starting January 15, most people with a health plan can go online, or to a pharmacy or store to purchase an at-home over-the-counter COVID-19 diagnostic test authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at no cost, either through reimbursement or free of charge through their insurance. This applies whether you purchased your health plan on your own or whether you get health insurance through your job.
The test will either be free directly at the point of sale, if your health plan provides for direct coverage, or by reimbursement if you are charged for your test. Be sure to keep your receipt if you need to submit a claim to your insurance company for reimbursement. If your plan has set up a network of preferred providers at which you can obtain a test with no out-of-pocket expense, you can still obtain tests from other retailers outside that network. Insurance companies are required to reimburse you at a rate of up to $12 per individual test (or the cost of the test, if less than $12).
Read the Legal Update
What if I’m uninsured? Can I still get free at-home over-the-counter COVID-19 tests?
The Biden-Harris Administration is purchasing 500 million over-the-counter at-home tests to be distributed for free to all Americans who want them, with the initial delivery starting on January 19, 2022. The Covidtest.gov website where Americans can request four (4) at-home tests per address for home delivery—for free.
People without insurance can also get free at-home test from some community health centers.
In addition, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is providing up to 50 million free, at-home tests to community health centers and Medicare-certified health clinics for distribution at no cost to patients and community members. The program is intended to ensure COVID-19 tests are made available to populations and settings in need of testing, especially populations at greatest risk from adverse outcomes related to COVID-19. As of December 21, 2021, all Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) -supported health centers (including look-alikes) and Medicare-certified rural health clinics are eligible to participate in the program after completing the on-boarding process. More information about this program is here.
HHS also has established more than 10,000 free community-based pharmacy testing sites around the country. To respond to the Omicron surge, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are creating surge testing sites in states across the nation.
Additional information about testing resources for people without insurance are available here: https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/covid-19-care-uninsured-individuals/index.html.