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How and where can I order free USPS covid-19 test kits?

President Biden announced last week that free at-home coronavirus testing kits would be made available to all households, but many are reporting issues already.

President Biden announced last week that free at-home coronavirus testing kits would be made available to all households, but many are reporting issues already.
Anna MoneymakerAFP

A new online portal has gone live allowing Americans to request a pack of rapid covid-19 antigen tests for free. The massive nation-wide effort will provide four tests for every address in the country in the hope of slowing the spread of the Omicron variant.

The White House press release reads: “To help ensure Americans have tests on hand if a need arises, the Biden Administration is purchasing one billion at-home, rapid covid-19 tests to give to Americans for free.”

“A half-billion tests will be available for order on January 19th and will be mailed directly to American households.”

Here’s everything you need to know to claim your free covid-19 home tests kits from the government website…

New website offer free at-home covid-19 tests

After the measure was first announced last week the White House introduced a new website to allow people to claim their tests. The website went live on Tuesday evening and gave the option to ‘Order free at-home tests’. The tests are to be distributed by the United States Postal Service (USPS).

However there have been widespread reports that the online portal is experiencing technical difficulties on the first day in operation. The website gives the message "COVID-19 tests will start shipping in late January” but many people are not yet able to request their tests.

In response to this issue, White House press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated that the website is still in a beta phase and that users may experience some delays in the process.

“We can’t guarantee there won’t be a bug or two,” Psaki said, “but the best tech teams across the administration and the Postal Service are working hard to make this a success.”

A post on the website on Tuesday advised users: “We have tests for every residential address in the U.S. Please check back tomorrow if you run into any unexpected issues."

Medical providers also offer free home tests

The White House plan is the first major effort from the federal government to get free at-home covid-19 tests sent out to every household. But many Americans with private medical insurance are able to receive, or claim the cost of, covid-19 tests as part of their cover.

Many insurers are working in collaboration with stores, pharmacies and online retailers to offer the tests at no costs to the user. Prescriptions are not required to claim the tests and they are not subject to any deductibles or copays. If you are not sure whether your insurance covers at-home covid-19 tests, contact your insurance providers to find out how to claim them.

As a general rule Medicare enrolees cannot claim free home tests as part of their insurance provision, but should be able to receive a lab testing free-of-charge by contacting their medical professional.


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