With the omicron variant of COVID burning through the American population, it’s getting harder to get tested. Additionally, at-home COVID tests are frequently out of stock in stores. To better prepare the American people to deal with this new wave of the virus, the Biden Administration announced that it would send hundreds of millions of free at-home COVID test kits to citizens across the country. The USPS will deliver those kits.
COVIDTests.gov, the site from which Americans can order free at-home COVID tests formally started taking orders today, January 19th. However, the site was in “beta testing” for the past couple of days. In fact, hundreds of thousands of Americans flocked to the site yesterday to place their orders, according to an NPR report.
The United States Postal Service will start delivering the at-home COVID tests “in late January,” according to the outlet.
Ordering Free At-Home COVID Tests
Each household in America can go to the site linked above to order at-home COVID tests for free. Each order contains four test kits. The site states that when orders start shipping they will take about 7-12 days to ship. Additionally, the site urges people to “order your tests now so you have them when you need them.”
So, those who are sick now and want an at-home COVID test may not be able to get them for free. However, insurance providers across the country started reimbursing clients for at-home tests. Insurance providers will cover up to eight at-home test kits per month. For some, these kits will be free under their healthcare plan. Others may have to submit receipts to their insurance providers for reimbursement.
The site also offers resources to find free testing sites across the country if at-home COVID tests are unavailable in your area.
Who Gets the Test Kits First?
Some areas are seeing more cases of COVID and death from the virus than others. As a result, the Biden Administration plans to prioritize those areas that have been hit hardest. The White House stated that the first 20% of free at-home COVID tests will go to those areas first each day. The other 80% will be delivered as they were ordered.
Issues Ordering Free At-Home COVID Tests
Some people have experienced issues while trying to order the free at-home tests. This issue stems from the fact that the four test limit is linked to each residential address. Many who live in apartments or other buildings with more than one family had their orders rejected, according to the Associated Press. Those people are being informed that the address has already reached its limit of free tests. However, it is important to note that until today, the site wasn’t formally open to orders. So, some of those kinks may have been worked out by now.