As of Tuesday, you should be able to order free Covid-19 at-home test kits through a new federal government website and have them mailed to your door — although the site might have some bugs.
Announced last December as part of a larger Biden administration initiative to combat surging Omicron cases, over 500 million test kits — later upped to 1 billion — have been made available to all Americans.
How to get free test kits in the mail
From the first batch of 500 million test kits, there will be a limit of four test kits per household. It's not yet clear what the limits might be for a second batch of 500 million test kits. Delivery is expected to be between 7-12 days, according to a White House statement.
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Orders can be placed by visiting Covidtests.gov, which launched Tuesday ahead of the initial target date of Wednesday, Jan. 19. To submit an order, you'll only need to provide a name and mailing address, although you can also include your email address if you want updates about the status of your order.
However, users on social media are reporting a bug in which people in the same apartment building are being rejected as duplicates, despite living in separate units. White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the launch was in a beta phase and warned that bugs were to be expected, in a press briefing on Tuesday.
All orders in the continental United States will be sent through First Class Package Service. Shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. Territories, and Army, Navy and diplomatic post office addresses will be sent through Priority Mail.
You can also get your kits reimbursed through insurance
As of January 15, the cost of up to eight at-home Covid-19 tests per month will be covered by your private health insurer. Additionally, test kit costs are now covered by insurance if they're part of a clinical assessment by a health-care provider, which would give you eight free tests per month, plus whatever number of tests a doctor asks you to take. More information on that can be found in this CNBC Make It article.
Free in-person tests are also available in over 20,000 U.S. Department of Health & Human Services health centers, or are otherwise available through local and state government programs. More information about your Covid testing options can be found here.
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