You Can Still Get Free At-Home COVID Tests. Here’s How.

Kaz Weida

In this post-pandemic world, squirreling away COVID-19 tests and masks is as prevalent and reflexive as stockpiling on tissues or cold medications.

But if you missed your possibility to secure free tests from the nationwide stockpile prior to it closed down in early September or you require more, there are still methods you can get at-home COVID-19 tests free of charge.

5 Ways to Save Money on At-Home COVID-19 Tests

Peeked at your at-home screening supply and observed it’s a bit low? Don’t concern. Because if you’re spending for quick antigen tests, you’re doing it incorrect.

Here are 5 methods to snag totally free at-home COVID-19 tests.

  1. Don’t get rid of your ended tests right now.
  2. Private insurance coverage, Medicare and Medicaid are still needed to cover at-home COVID tests.
  3. Check to see if you can utilize FSA or HSA funds to purchase tests.
  4. See if your state provides totally free quick antigen tests.
  5. Go to an in-person COVID-19 screening area near you.

1. Don’t Throw Away Your Expired Tests Just Yet

Yes, at-home COVID-19 tests have expiration dates. But to be clear, these over the counter tests were hustled through the emergency situation procedure at the FDA and rubber marked with a basic 4- to six-month expiration date.

Manufacturers are now sending brand-new information that validate a longer life span covering anywhere from 12 to 18 months.

The finest method to figure out if ended at-home COVID-19 tests are still reliable is to check out a main federal government page like the FDA’s At Home OTC COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests database and search by maker. You might likewise require the lot number from the test bundle to validate the prolonged expiration date.

2. Private Insurance, Medicare and Medicaid Still Cover At-Home Tests

If you have personal insurance coverage, Medicare or Medicaid, these insurance companies are still needed by federal law to cover to 8 at-home COVID-19 tests per individual monthly as part of your health care protection.

There are a couple of methods insurance companies are doing this. Some cover the tests at taking part drug stores like Walgreens and CVS. Other prepares need you to send invoices for repayment.

If you have Medicare, check to see if a drug store near you covers totally free, over the counter COVID-19 tests.

3. Check to See If You Can Use FSA or HSA funds on COVID-19 Tests

It’s appealing to utilize the rest of your FSA funds on at-home COVID-19 tests. Flexible costs account and health cost savings account funds can normally be utilized on certified medical, oral or health-related expenditures.

Before you drain pipes the rest of your FSA funds this year, double-check that at-home COVID-19 tests certify. Technically, FSA and HSA funds are just for expenditures not covered by your medical insurance. Since most insurance companies are needed to cover COVID tests, you need to examine to ensure this expense won’t get recovered to you.

4. See If Your State Offers Free Rapid Antigen Tests

Now that the nationwide stockpile is diminished, some states are stepping up to supply totally free at-home COVID-19 tests to citizens. Maine, Minnesota, and a number of other states are working straight with test producers to collaborate this effort.

Go to Say Yes! To Covid Test site or Project ACT and enter your postal code to find if totally free self-tests are offered in your neighborhood.

5. Go to an In-Person COVID Testing Location Near You

If all else stops working, there are low or no-cost COVID screening centers offered throughout the nation. Some COVID-19 screening websites will even distribute a house test set at self-serve kiosks.

Both federal, state and county federal governments are assisting to money totally free screening websites and other screening resources at regional health departments, drug stores and centers. You can browse the CDC’s database of totally free COVID-19 screening areas here.

Should You Stockpile At-Home COVID Tests?

Before you get more totally free at-home COVID-19 tests, it’s worth asking if you need to have a stockpile in your medication cabinet. And the response? It depends.

Averaging anywhere from $8 to $10 per test, at-home COVID tests aren’t inexpensive. But the CDC and HHS suggest keeping a number of on hand. If you’re exposed, you’ll have a fast and simple method to figure out if you or others in your household require to separate. Because you can evaluate unfavorable for a long time prior to you evaluate favorable, it’s advised to evaluate a minimum of two times within 2 days.

Test producers are likewise cautioning that they’ve ramped down production due to subsiding need and are making about half the variety of tests as they remained in early 2022. Test materials might end up being a traffic jam if Americans deal with another rise this winter season.

However, stockpiling lots of totally free tests can backfire. Rapid antigen tests will end — even with the FDA-approved extensions. An excellent general rule is to have enough at-home COVID-19 tests that you might evaluate every member of your family a minimum of two times.

More Free Tests Might Be on the Way

As winter season methods, the White House is restoring its effort to renew the nationwide stockpile. If Congress authorizes another round of financing, totally free COVID tests — thanks to the United States federal government — might be provided to your doorstep in time for the vacations.

Kaz Weida is a senior author at The Penny Hoarder


A news media journalist always on the go, I've been published in major publications including VICE, The Atlantic, and TIME.

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