The Biden administration has purchased 500 million quick COVID-19 test kits to offer to Americans for free — this is how to get one

Residents will be exhibiting a rapid COVID-19 test kit at home in Philadelphia on Monday, December 20, 2021.

Residents will be exhibiting a rapid COVID-19 test kit at home in Philadelphia on Monday, December 20, 2021.AP Photo / Matt Rourke

  • The Biden administration has purchased 500 million household COVID test kits to provide to Americans for free.

  • Americans will be able to order test kits that will be delivered to their homes from January.

  • The government will also require insurance companies to reimburse rapid test kits from January.

The Biden administration buys 500 million rapid COVID-19 tests at home for free distribution to Americans in response to an increase in cases partially caused by a highly contagious variant of Omicron. doing. The White House announced Tuesday morning.

The Appearance of Omicron Demand for COVID-19 testing surged due to the conflict with winter vacation. This countered the lack of home testing, over-the-counter testing, and inadequate infrastructure for face-to-face PCR testing.

Americans across the country and in big cities like New York I found the pharmacy sold out With a commercially available COVID-19 test kit I fought for hours in a long line to take the test.

In a speech on Tuesday afternoon at the White House, President Joe Biden said his administration would also set up an “emergency test site” where additional capabilities were needed.

“No one expected this to spread so quickly,” he said. Biden said of a variant of Omicron.

Here’s what we know about when and how Americans can get free test kits:

When can I take the free test?

The Biden administration plans to make the test kit available for free as of January, when it has not yet been announced. Currently, eight different brands of home-based rapid COVID testing are licensed by the Food and Drug Administration.

“The 500 million tests in January are the biggest orders we’ve ever had and we plan to do them as quickly as possible, but they won’t be available until January,” said White House spokesman Jen Psaki. rice field. Tuesday briefing.

Will the government automatically send free rapid test kits to all American homes?

no. Americans who want a free test must order the test. The administration will set up a website that will allow Americans to order kits that will be shipped to their homes at some point in January.

“More information will be available when it becomes available, such as what the website will look like,” Pusaki said. “As soon as these tests are available, we will make the website available.”

In the meantime, can I receive the cost of the COVID-19 Rapid Inspection refunded from my insurance?

For most of the 150 million Americans with private health insurance, the simple answer is:

The Biden administration announced in early December that it would issue an obligation to private insurance companies to reimburse all costs for a quick home COVID-19 test kit purchased over-the-counter.

However Redemption requirements have not yet come into effect — The White House has announced that it will announce the exact details of the rules by January 15.

Repayment obligations are not retroactive to past purchases. This means that millions of Americans who have paid to buy a quick test kit to prepare for their vacation will have to pay for these costs.

One state, Vermont, Has state level authority Request all over-the-counter refunds from all insurance companies operating in the state.

However, while most major private insurers pay for the COVID-19 test performed in the medical setting or on a test site, many insurers only refund commercial COVID test kits ordered by doctors. increase.

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