At-home COVID testing kits might be free in 2022: Here’s how and the place to get yours

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Starting in January, Americans will be capable of get totally reimbursed for at-home COVID-19 testing kits.

Stephen Shankland/CNET
For probably the most up-to-date information and details about the coronavirus pandemic, go to the WHO and CDC web sites.

As the vacations strategy and the new omicron variant swiftly strikes throughout the US, you might need to take into account stocking up on at-home COVID-19 take a look at kits. The excellent news is that, beginning early subsequent 12 months, over-the-counter take a look at kits might be out there totally free for everybody. Under a new plan announced by President Joe Biden, medical insurance firms quickly might be required to reimburse Americans for the fast COVID-19 assessments, which may value greater than $25 every.

Those who do not have medical insurance can even have entry to free at-home COVID testing kits, and we’ll share all the main points beneath.

The administration coverage is a part of an effort to fight the 2 primary coronavirus mutations which can be dominant within the US: the harmful delta variant that took maintain over the summer time, and the brand new faster-spreading omicron strain, which has been present in not less than 39 states — together with California, Colorado and Maryland. (Here’s how omicron is different from delta.) 

Omicron’s arrival simply as many are planning to journey for Christmas or New Year’s has result in a scarcity of take a look at kits and raised prices for testing packages in lots of states. In response, producers begun ramping up manufacturing and the FDA has been approving new assessments at an unprecedented velocity: ACON Laboratories says it is going to be capable of produce greater than 100 million Flowflex COVID-19 Home Test kits monthly by the end of 2021, and greater than 200 million by February.

We’ll share what we all know now, and can proceed to replace this story as we be taught extra particulars, together with when this system begins and precisely the way it will work. Also, this is the most recent on Merck’s COVID antiviral pill and how to choose a booster shot.

Read extra: Clever COVID booster shot trick: Text this number for free rides, easy appointments

When will free COVID-19 residence take a look at kits be out there?

The White House has mentioned it should problem reimbursement tips by January 15, with well being insurers anticipated to start out reimbursing the price of at-home testing shortly after that date. The administration’s plan is just not retroactive, nevertheless, so kits bought in the course of the holidays won’t be coated. 

Some states, including Vermont, aren’t ready for Biden’s plan to take impact: They’ve mandated insurers to start out paying for at-home kits now. You could need to examine together with your firm, as some non-public employers have additionally begun providing reimbursement choices.

Once the White House plan does take impact, anybody with insurance coverage be capable of submit a receipt or different proof of fee for reimbursement after shopping for a take a look at. The course of is much like visiting an on-site testing facility and submitting your invoice to a medical insurance supplier.  

It’s nonetheless unclear if some areas will ask on your medical insurance card and submit the invoice to your insurance coverage supplier for you, as some do while you take a take a look at on-site. We’ll replace this story as we be taught extra.

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Where can I get an at-home COVID-19 take a look at?

At-home fast COVID-19 assessments can be found at pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS and Walmart. You also can purchase them on-line at Amazon, and the shops listed above. It’s unclear right now in the event you can nonetheless declare them in your insurance coverage while you purchase on-line. Each field sometimes comes with two assessments, until you purchase in bulk.

What if I haven’t got medical insurance?

For these with out insurance coverage, Biden says there might be “thousands of locations” out there to choose up COVID-19 take a look at kits. You’ll be capable of take the equipment residence to check in non-public, relatively than get swabbed in a drive-thru clinic.

The Biden administration has promised to distribute not less than 50 million free assessments to group well being facilities and different organizations, in line with The New York Times.

What ought to I do if my at-home take a look at exhibits constructive for COVID?

If you are taking an at-home take a look at and it says you are constructive for COVID-19, it is advisable that you simply flip your ends in to your well being care supplier. You ought to keep residence and isolate for 10 days, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

For extra info, here’s the latest on the federal vaccine mandate and all the things it is advisable to know in regards to the Moderna booster shot.

The info contained on this article is for academic and informational functions solely and isn’t supposed as well being or medical recommendation. Always seek the advice of a doctor or different certified well being supplier concerning any questions you will have a few medical situation or well being aims.

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