Here’s How To Get Your Free COVID-19 Test Kits

Starting Jan. 19, each household is entitled to four kits from the government

Man holding COVID-19 test kit
Photo:

Willie B. Thomas / Getty Images

The government is giving free COVID-19 tests to U.S. households starting next week. To get one, you have to sign up online or make a call. 

The website, www.covidtests.gov, will be available for ordering beginning Jan. 19, the White House said Friday. The tests are expected to ship, via U.S. mail, 7-12 days after you place your order, and each mailing address is entitled to four, officials said. There also will be a phone number for people who can’t get online, but that number had not been announced as of Friday.

The Biden administration plans to send out 1 billion at-home test kits as part of a program to help blunt the latest surge of virus cases. In addition, the government has mandated that as of Jan. 15 private insurance companies must cover the cost of at-home test kits people get elsewhere. That could help cover the significant cost of regular testing, which, according to one recent analysis, would run about $728 a year for a person using the cheapest kits and testing twice a week.

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Sources
The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. The White House. “Fact Sheet: The Biden Administration To Begin Distributing At-Home, Rapid COVID-19 Tests to Americans for Free.”

  2. Department of Health and Human Services. “Biden-Harris Administration Requires Insurance Companies and Group Health Plans to Cover the Cost of At-Home COVID-19 Tests, Increasing Access to Free Tests.”

  3. Kaiser Family Foundation. “Rapid Home Tests for COVID-19: Issues With Availability and Access in the US – Issue Brief – 9827.”

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