Biden Administration Will Make 500 Million At-Home COVID-19 Tests Available for Free

A person using a nasal swab to do a Covid test at home.

Image source: Getty Images

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

At-home COVID-19 tests can be difficult to find, but that will soon change.

Key points

  • The Biden administration plans to make 500 million at-home tests available in the new year.
  • Beginning in January, Americans can request free tests and have them mailed to their homes.

The latest omicron variant of COVID-19 is highly contagious and has led to a rise in cases worldwide. The United States is now experiencing a significant increase in positive cases, and the demand for testing is up.

The Biden administration is taking steps to combat the surge in positive cases. On Tuesday, the president announced his administration's plan to offer 500 million at-home tests to Americans. Find out what you need to know about this news.

COVID-19 cases are on the rise

On Nov. 26, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially classified a new strain of the virus, called the omicron variant. On Dec. 1, the United States identified its first confirmed case. Since then, many cities have experienced increased COVID-19 cases, and there has been a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations around the country.

Many COVID-19 testing centers have limited appointment openings, while others have long lines. At-home rapid tests are available at stores and pharmacies around the country, but the increased demand for testing has resulted in tests being low in stock. Many Americans want to get tested, but they may be unable to find tests as quickly as necessary.

The good news is that will soon change. The Biden administration announced its plan to make 500 million at-home COVID-19 tests available to Americans in the coming year.

Here's what you need to know

In January 2022, 500 million rapid at-home COVID-19 tests will be made available to Americans. The U.S. government will set up a website where Americans can request tests online for free. Tests will be mailed to homes and the delivery of tests will begin in January.

It's unclear how many tests each household will be able to request. Specific details are still being worked out, and more information will be made available later.

But that's not all. Additional federal testing locations will also be created around the country, with plans for extra testing sites to be set up in New York City later this week. The Biden administration also announced its plans to send 1,000 military healthcare members to struggling hospitals and plans to send emergency response teams to states that need extra help.

Right now, at-home COVID-19 testing comes with an added cost to consumers, and it can be difficult to find tests due to the demand. Not everyone can afford the high cost of tests.

We recently wrote about how private health insurance companies in the U.S. will soon be required to reimburse for at-home COVID-19 testing costs. This policy will begin in January. Hopefully, these measures will make it easier for more people to get tested faster.

The pandemic has impacted finances for many households, and inflation has made the cost of everyday goods more expensive. If you're struggling financially, you're not alone. If you're looking for ways to improve your financial situation and want to learn helpful tips, check out these personal finance resources.

Alert: highest cash back card we've seen now has 0% intro APR until 2024

If you're using the wrong credit or debit card, it could be costing you serious money. Our experts love this top pick, which features a 0% intro APR until 2024, an insane cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee. 

In fact, this card is so good that our experts even use it personally. Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes. 

Read our free review

Our Research Expert