Free At-Home COVID Tests Are Coming Back

Government will once again offer 4 per household
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2023 12:22 AM CDT
Free At-Home COVID Tests Are Once Again a Thing
COVID-19 antigen home tests indicating a positive result in New York, April 5, 2023.   (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)

With COVID hospitalizations back on the rise and experts warning about a possible winter surge, the federal government is once again offering free at-home tests that people can order starting next week. Four free testing kits will be mailed per household, Politico reports. The government had previously distributed COVID tests that way last year, but the program had been on pause since the spring, the New York Times reports. The tests that will be mailed when the program resumes on Monday (at this website) are good through the end of this year, and are designed to detect the variants currently circulating, the White House says.

Since private insurers are no longer required to cover the cost of up to eight at-home COVID tests per month, it's been more difficult for Americans to access free COVID testing. "The president wanted to make sure that no one can go without tests. We will once again up our program to make sure Americans have access to a test," Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra told reporters Wednesday at a Washington pharmacy, where he received his COVID and flu shots. While there, he also addressed reports that some insurers aren't covering the updated COVID vaccine, saying pharmacy glitches causing those issues have been resolved. (More COVID-19 stories.)

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