24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
Fax: (361)578-5500
Regular Hours: M-Fri 8am - 5pm
Every 3rd Thurs of the Month - Extended Hours Until 7 pm

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
When Is It Time for a Knee Replacement?AHA News: Death Rates From Tears In This Major Heart Artery Are Rising, Especially Among Women, Black AdultsOmicron COVID Causing Severe Croup in Young Children'Zapping' Air Passages May Bring Relief for Severe AsthmaModerna Asks FDA to Approve Second Booster for All AdultsNew Tick-Borne Virus Is Spreading Across U.S.Memory Issues Plague Long COVID PatientsCOVID Vaccine Won't Cause Rare Neuro Events, But COVID Infection CouldTriglycerides a Stroke Danger, Even With Statin TreatmentIt Can Take Weeks for Some Patients With Severe COVID to Recover ConsciousnessOmicron Wave Had 5 Times as Many Small Kids Hospitalized Compared to DeltaBreathing Dirty Air Could Raise Your Odds for Rheumatoid ArthritisPalliative Care Crucial After Severe Stroke, But Many Patients Miss OutMammograms Can Also Highlight Heart Risks: StudyPfizer Asks FDA to Approve Second Booster for SeniorsEven a Little Light in Your Bedroom Could Harm HealthMental Issues Can Linger More Than a Year After Severe COVIDRise in U.K. COVID Cases Closely Watched by U.S. Health OfficialsLong COVID May Bring Long-Term Lung DamageNew Malaria Treatment Gets First Approval for Use in ChildrenWarming World Means More Cases of Dangerous Low-Salt ConditionAbout 1 in 6 U.S. Couples Disagrees on COVID VaccinationCOVID Meds Appear to Work Against BA.2 Omicron Variant‘Deltacron’ Variant Rare and Not a Major ConcernCould Depression Make Dry Eye Worse?When Will Americans With Diabetes Get Relief From High Insulin Prices?COVID's Global Death Toll May Be 3 Times Official NumbersDrug Could Be Non-Antibiotic Alternative to Treat UTIsFlu Vaccine No Match for Circulating Variants This SeasonLymphedema in Legs Strikes 1 in 3 Female Cancer SurvivorsScience Brings Shortcut to Spotting 50 Rare Genetic DiseasesU.S. Airplane, Train and Transit Mask Mandates Extended to April 18Man Who Received First Pig Heart Transplant Has DiedPfizer Begins Trial of COVID Drug Paxlovid in Kids 6 to 17Could a Stool Test Help Spot Pancreatic Cancer?Upcoming Surgery Worry You? Poll Says You're Not AloneHalf of Americans Live With Legacy of Childhood Lead PoisoningIn Reversal, WHO Now Supports COVID BoostersLooking to Neanderthals to Explain Today's Lower Back PainWhat's More Accurate, Blood Pressure Readings at Home or Doctor's Office?Begin Now to Protect Your Heart as Clocks 'Spring Forward'Brain Changes May Fuel 'Long COVID' Anxiety, ConfusionAHA News: Break Up Binge-Watching by Taking a StandHow COVID-19 Can Change the BrainHeart Defects Could Raise Odds for Severe COVID-196 Healthy Steps to Preventing Colon CancerAHA News: These Three Risk Factors May Have the Biggest Impact on Dementia CasesU.S. Surgeon General Investigates COVID-19 MisinformationLong or Irregular Periods May Put a Woman's Liver at RiskCould Your Blood Type Make COVID Worse?
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Diabetes

Here's How to Get Your Free Home COVID Test Kits

HealthDay News
by Dennis Thompson
Updated: Jan 18th 2022

new article illustration

TUESDAY, Jan. 18, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Home COVID tests are now available at no cost to most Americans, as part of the Biden administration's effort to increase testing around the United States.

Folks can buy home tests online or in stores and be fully reimbursed by their private insurance, without any copays or deductibles.

The White House also plans to distribute 1 billion free home tests itself, and will begin taking orders on Wednesday.

Here's how all this works:

Do I need a prescription?

No, you can get free COVID tests without talking to your doctor.

How do I use insurance to get a test?

If you've got private insurance, you'll either have your test paid for at the time of purchase or you can file a claim with your insurer.

Your insurance company has the option of choosing preferred stores, pharmacies and online shops where you can get your test at no cost up front, so you should check with your insurer before shopping. You can buy tests outside network, but in that case, insurers are only required to reimburse up to $12 per test. (Two-to-a-pack tests like BinaxNow are available for around $24 at pharmacies and stores, and about $20 at Walmart.)

How many tests do I get?

Insurance companies have to pay for up to eight tests a month for every covered person in your household.

Can I get reimbursed for tests I bought a couple weeks back?

You can only get reimbursed for COVID tests purchased Jan. 15 and after, the date the Biden administration's program commenced.

Where can I find a test in my community?

Rapid COVID tests are sold over the counter at pharmacies, big-box stores like Walmart and Target and online retailers like Amazon.

However, as many consumers have found out, the Omicron surge is causing spot shortages of the tests. "It's not always available at every pharmacy that you go in and want to buy it," said Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases

Before running out to the pharmacy, you might want to first call your doctor's office or community health center to see if they have any rapid tests on hand, suggested Lori Tremmel Freeman, chief executive officer for the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

"If you are a patient at a community health center or a rural health center, your best bet is going to be to contact your provider, and those tests should be available at those centers," Freeman said.

How do I get one of the free COVID tests from the federal government?

Starting Wednesday, you can go to covidtests.gov to order free tests. The White House also plans to open up a phone line but no launch date has been announced. The website says there will be no shipping costs, and people won't need to provide a credit card number to file an order.

There's a limit of four tests per household. The tests are expected to ship within seven to 12 days of your order.

The U.S. Postal Service plans to use up to 7,000 temporary workers to ship the test kits, many of them holiday workers being held over for the new project, Reuters reports. Still, demand may have peaked by the time tests are delivered.

What if I'm on Medicare or Medicaid?

Traditional Medicare is not currently paying for over-the-counter home COVID tests except at community health centers. However, it does cover COVID testing performed in a lab, if your doctor orders the test. Folks with a Medicare Advantage plan should see if their private insurer will cover the cost of a home test.

Medicaid already covers home tests at no cost, as does the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Check with your state for more information.

What if I don't have health insurance?

Uninsured folks might be able to get free home tests from their community or rural health center, Freeman said. The Department of Health and Human Services is providing up to 50 million free tests to health centers and Medicare-certified health clinics, CNN reports.

You also should check with your local health department, to see if test kits are being handed out elsewhere in your community. For example, "there are libraries, at least in my area, that have been distributing free tests as well," Freeman noted.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about COVID-19 tests.


SOURCES: CNN, Reuters