Biden Administration begins distributing free, at-home COVID-19 tests to Americans

Americans are now able to request four COVID-19 tests per household at

Allie Everhart

Last week, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention made at-home COVID tests free for for all households in the U.S. To order one, people can visit

Vanessa Moreno, News Editor

As of Jan. 18, Americans are able to have free, at-home COVID-19 tests delivered directly to their homes. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that Americans use at-home tests when they start to develop COVID-19 symptoms. They also recommend self-testing when coming into contact with someone who has COVID-19 or when gathering indoors. To ensure access to these tests, the Biden Administration has purchased one billion at-home COVID-19 tests to give out to Americans for free.

According to a White House fact sheet, Americans can request four COVID-19 tests per household at The website will redirect individuals to the United States Postal Service website where they will be prompted to enter their contact information and shipping address. The Biden Administration is also launching a free call line for those who do not have access to the internet or need help placing orders. Tests typically ship within 7-12 days of ordering, however some places might receive their orders first.

“The Administration is taking a number of steps to ensure this program reaches our hardest-hit and highest-risk communities,” reads a White House fact sheet. “This includes prioritizing processing orders to households experiencing the highest social vulnerability and in communities that have experienced a disproportionate share of COVID-19 cases and deaths.”

As of Jan. 15, private insurance companies are also required to cover eight at-home COVID-19 tests per covered individual, per month. Initially, individuals might need to file reimbursement claims for the out-of-pocket costs. 

Six billion dollars in American Rescue Plan funding were also invested to cover free testing for uninsured individuals and to support correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and mental health institutions. According to a White House fact sheet, there are over 20,000 free testing sites throughout the United States. There are also four times as many pharmacies participating in the free testing program as there were in Jan. 2021. 

“Free COVID-19 tests [will] help our community a lot,” says junior Athziri Gonzalez. “It’s a good idea for the government to [distribute them] as some people don’t have the money for them. Having access to these tests will help us lower COVID-19 cases.”

With this new program, people have pointed out two major flaws. Some have expressed disappointment over large families receiving the same amount of tests as a person living alone. Many have also struggled with placing orders if they live in apartment buildings, which have the same address. The United States Postal Service has advised those persons to contact customer service to place their orders.