Free government COVID-19 tests are now available to order for delivery

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TThe government website where you can order four free at-home COVID-19 tests and have them delivered to your door is now live and available for you to use.

Starting today, January 18, you can visit a new website run by the federal government, COVIDtests.gov, and request rapid home COVID-19 tests at no charge. The US Postal Service (USPS) will deliver them to your home, also free of charge. The website was scheduled to officially launch on January 19, but is up and accepting orders a day earlier.

The program is part of President Biden’s efforts to acquire and distribute one billion at-home coronavirus tests to the American public at no cost. So far, the White House has secured contracts for 420 million tests and “tens of millions” are ready to ship immediately, senior officials said in a background phone call to reporters on Jan. 14, ahead of the site’s official launch. Web.

How to request free coronavirus home testing from the government

Here’s how to get your free at-home COVID-19 tests:

  • Visit COVIDtests.gov, the official federal government website for the program.
  • Press the “request free home tests” button, which will forward you to a site managed by USPS to place your order.
  • Enter your name and residential address that will be used for shipping.
  • Follow the prompts to place your order, which includes four proofs per address.
  • OPTIONAL: Enter your email address to track the shipment of the tests.

People who have difficulty accessing the Internet or the website can request testing by calling a nearby toll-free number. (We will update this article when the phone number is released.)

“COVID-19 home tests will be shipped free from the end of January. USPS will only ship a set of 4 free tests to valid residential addresses,” states an order confirmation message from USPS. “We cannot process duplicate orders for the same address.”

Once your order is confirmed, the White House says the USPS will ship your proofs in seven to 12 days by first-class mail. Senior officials said they expect shipping time to shorten as the program ramps up.

“Every website launch carries risk,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a news conference on Tuesday. “We can’t guarantee there won’t be a bug or two, but the best technology teams in the administration and the Postal Service are working hard to make this a success.”

Free Home COVID-19 Testing FAQs

What types of free COVID-19 tests are available for delivery?

The White House says the tests are rapid home tests that have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration. The exact brands are unclear, but the administration says the tests will only be rapid antigen tests, which are also called over-the-counter (OTC), self-tests or home tests. PCR tests, which require samples to be sent to labs for results, are not part of the program.

How long will it take to deliver the tests?

Orders will ship in seven to 12 days, according to White House estimates.

Exact delivery times may vary. The USPS website says that first class mail is usually delivered within five business days. And that may be in addition to the shipping processing time.

How many home tests can I get for free?

The current order limit is four per residential address. That number is independent of how many people live in your household. The order limit is currently at the first 500 billion tests. The Biden administration is in the process of acquiring another $500 billion, and officials have indicated that the limit of four per household may be revised as more testing becomes available.

Do I need health insurance?

No. The tests available through COVIDtests.gov are available to anyone with a residential shipping address in the US and its territories. No proof of residency or insurance is required to place an order.

I was able to order my proofs before January 19th. Was it a technical problem?

Psaki acknowledged on Tuesday that the website was active and accepting orders ahead of the official launch of COVIDtests.gov Y special.usps.com/testkits as part of a beta test. Orders placed during the beta test period will be honored.

How else can I get free COVID-19 home testing?

In addition to the four free tests available through COVIDtests.gov, the White House announced a free trial program at home for people with private health insurance.

Starting January 15, private insurers must cover the cost of home testing, either by covering costs up front at pharmacies and retailers, similar to how prescription programs already work, or by reimbursing you for the cost of the tests you paid for. for out-of-pocket expenses.

Additionally, several states have been distributing their home testing stockpiles through local libraries and community centers. In-person testing is also available for free at more than 20,000 FEMA test centers or pop-up sites, according to the White House.


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