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Free At-Home COVID Testing Kits are Coming: How and Where to Get Yours

You can soon be reimbursed for at-home COVID-19 tests. Learn how the plan works and what to do if you don't have health insurance.

As Christmas approaches and the new omicron variant surges across the US, at-home COVID-19 test kits are in high demand, though high cost and dwindling supplies have left many wanting. Starting early next year, over-the-counter test kits will be available for free for everyone. Under a plan announced by President Joe Biden, health insurance companies will be required to reimburse Americans for rapid COVID-19 antigen tests, which can cost more than $25 each.

Those who don't have health insurance will also have access to free at-home COVID testing kits at community sites like health centers and rural clinics. The Biden administration has pledged to make 50 million tests available at those sites.

Where can I get an at-home COVID-19 test?

At-home rapid COVID-19 tests are available at pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart. You can also buy them online at Amazon, and the stores listed above. It's unclear at this time if you can still claim them on your insurance when you buy online. Each box typically comes with two tests, unless you buy in bulk.

What if I don't have health insurance?

For those without insurance, Biden says there will be "thousands of locations" available to pick up COVID-19 test kits. You'll be able to take the kit home to test in private, rather than get swabbed in a drive-thru clinic.

In its announcement on Dec. 2, the Biden administration promised to distribute at least 50 million free tests to community health centers and other organizations.

What should I do if my at-home test shows positive for COVID?

If you take an at-home test and it says you're positive for COVID-19, it's recommended that you turn your results into your health care provider. You should stay home and isolate yourself for 10 days

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