- Beginning Jan. 19, every American household can request free at-home COVID-19 tests.
- You can request up to four tests per household via COVIDTests.gov.
- Many insurance companies are also reimbursing certain test expenses.
Starting this week, you can request four free at-home COVID-19 tests. Find out how.
At times, COVID-19 tests have been hard to come by in the U.S. But testing is a powerful and necessary health tool. In December, the Biden administration announced some upcoming changes to help make testing more accessible and more affordable. One such change requires insurance companies to pay for at-home COVID-19 tests. The administration also announced that it would make free at-home tests available to households across the U.S in the coming days. Here's how it works.
How to request your free tests
Beginning on Jan. 19, you can go to COVIDTests.gov to request free at-home COVID-19 tests. A free call line will also be set up for people who can't access the website to place an order.
After ordering, tests should ship within seven to 12 days. The government is partnering with the U.S. Postal Service to get tests out. There are no shipping charges or other costs.
While these free tests won't arrive instantly, they can be helpful to have on hand. This is especially true since many pharmacies and retail stores have been running out of at-home tests due to the increased demand. If you've been struggling to find tests, this is an excellent opportunity to order some in case you need them in the future.
Other ways to get free tests
In addition to the above resource, there are other ways to get free tests.
As of Jan. 15, many health insurance companies are required to reimburse for the cost of at-home COVID-19 tests. They must reimburse up to $12 per individual test. Some health insurers may choose preferred pharmacies and retail locations where consumers can pick up tests without paying out-of-pocket costs.
The government also plans to distribute 50 million at-home COVID-19 tests to community health centers and rural health clinics.
The financial impact of the pandemic
Many households have felt the financial impact of the pandemic. If you're struggling financially, you're not alone.
If you're looking for additional ways to boost your income amid the pandemic, here are some ideas to consider:
- Get a side hustle. This is a great way to increase your income, and some side gigs don't require you to work outside of the house. Check out these pandemic-friendly side hustles you can do from home.
- Pick up extra hours. If your industry is busier during the pandemic, you may want to consider taking on extra hours or working overtime at your regular job.
- Apply for a better job. Many companies have found that employees want better benefits and higher pay these days. So some businesses are increasing wages and improving benefits, and you might be in a position to find a better role.
- Sell items you no longer need. You may have items lying around your house that you no longer use. Electronics, clothes, and household items can all be sold online to make extra money and declutter your home.
The pandemic has had a very real effect on many people's lives, and if it has hit your bank account hard, then the free test program may offer a little financial relief -- and a bit of peace of mind, too as we navigate the ongoing pandemic.
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