Autumn is here, and once again, warnings are going up about the spread of the covid-19 virus — along with the flu and RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus. To try to minimize the upsurge, the US government is once again restarting a program that was last canceled in May 2023 and is again offering free home rapid antigen tests to each US household. According to the government website, orders will start shipping the week of October 2nd.
As before, it’s extremely simple to put in your order. You will not need to submit a credit card or any other financial information.
Unfortunately, the program offering reimbursement from private health insurance for purchased tests is no longer available — and since the price of a pair of covid tests can hover around $25, this could be an issue for households with low budgets. There is some information on community-based testing sites here.
Update September 26th, 2023, 8:45AM ET: This article was originally published on December 15th, 2022, and has been updated to describe the most recent testing program.