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How to Get a Free, At-Home Covid Test

As part of government initiatives to increase covid testing rates across the country, at-home covid tests are now available to anyone who wants one, for free. But how do you obtain the test?

First, you don’t need a prescription or order from your doctor. You can purchase covid tests online, or from your local pharmacy, and then apply for reimbursement from your health insurance carrier. Or, your health insurance provider might allow you to have your test covered at the time of purchase.

Just follow these steps to get your free, at-home covid test.

  • Contact your health insurance provider. Ask whether covid self tests are provided through a network of pharmacies and other stores, and inquire where to purchase your test.
  • Purchase your test inside this network, present your insurance card at checkout, and you will receive your covid test for free.
  • Alternatively, you can purchase your covid test out of network and apply with your health insurance company for compensation. However, the reimbursement will only cover up to $12 per test.

Insurance companies are required to cover up to eight covid tests per each covered person in your household, each month.

Those who are completely uninsured should check with community health centers or your local health department. The Department of Health and Human Services is sending out 50 million tests to these locations, in order to serve the uninsured.

Finally, anyone can use the website to order their own free, at-home covid test. You are limited to four tests per household.

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