(CTN News) – As of this week, the federal government is ending its free at-home COVID-19 tests program.
The deadline to claim self-administered rapid antigen tests (up to three rounds per address, or 16 tests total) is Friday, Sept. 2.
Orders can be placed by calling 1-800-232-0233; that hotline is available eight hours a day, seven days a week.
In interviews with CNN, NBC News, and USA Today, Biden administration officials also cited the need to have enough COVID-19 Tests available in case an infection wave occurs in the fall.
Even after the program ends, eligible consumers can still get up to eight free or reimbursed tests per month through their private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. Rapid and PCR tests are available at select health care centers and pharmacies without insurance at low or no cost.
Where to get COVID-19 tests:
For those who have to purchase COVID-19 Tests themselves, the following top-rated kits were available on Amazon at the time of publication (listed in ascending order of price per test):
- CLINITEST Rapid Covid-19 Antigen Self-Test, pack of 5(opens in a new tab) — $25 ($5/test)
- iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test, pack of 5(opens in a new tab) — $42.70 ($8.54/test)
- On/Go One At-Home COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Self-Test, pack of 1(opens in a new tab) — $9.99
- Quidel QuickVue At-Home OTC COVID-19 Tests Kit, pack of 2(opens in a new tab) — $22.79 ($11.40/test)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) loosened their COVID-19 guidance just after the free test program ended, dropping recommendations for quarantine after exposure (regardless of vaccination status) and screening without symptoms.
As of late Aug. 2022, according to the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, the U.S. had 82,475 new cases, 5,255 new hospital admissions, and 387 deaths a day.
Additionally, just under two weeks after The Wall Street Journal reported that the Biden administration is planning to offload COVID-19 vaccines and treatments on consumers and their insurance companies, further compounding the burden of the epidemic.
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