Update Friday, Sept. 22: Starting Monday, Sept. 25, you’ll be able to order another four free COVID tests from the federal government through USPS.
Back on June 1, the federal government closed the program that allowed you to order these free COVID tests in the mail. But in a statement on Sept. 20, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) said that the covidtests.gov program is restarting on Sept. 25.
These tests, said HSS, “will detect the currently circulating COVID-19 variants, are intended for use through the end of 2023, and will include clear instructions on how to verify extended expiration dates.” Each household is eligible to receive four tests.
Original story: Starting Thursday, Dec. 15, you can once again order more free at-home COVID-19 tests online from the federal government and the U.S. Postal Service.
Since January, this White House program has offered free at-home COVID tests to every household in the United States, to be shipped by USPS. The tests and shipping are completely free of charge, and NPR reports that this latest round of four free tests will start to ship the week of Dec. 19.
The program ended back in September, but has now been revived amid rising COVID infection rates ahead of the holidays. The White House originally cited a lack of funding from Congress as the reason for ending the program. But the administration has now apparently reallocated funds from other virus programs to purchase more tests while the Biden administration pursues congressional buy-in for additional COVID emergency funding, according to a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Keep reading for what you need to know about these at-home tests.
Skip straight to:
- Why am I having problems ordering my at-home COVID tests?
- I want to get reimbursed by my health insurer for tests instead.
How many free COVID tests can my family and I get through USPS?
For this new version of the free COVID test program, you can place an online order for four free COVID tests for your household today.
(You might remember that when the program was running earlier this year, you were able to order multiple rounds of tests, and receive four tests per household each time. That’s no longer the case, and the White House is offering you just one order of four tests this time.)
You can place your order for these four free COVID tests online at USPS.com. According to NPR, this latest round of free tests will start to ship the week of Dec. 19, meaning that if you order your tests as soon as possible, you could have them in good time for use during the holidays.
This program is separate from the one that allows folks with private health insurance to get reimbursed for the cost of at-home COVID tests. Read more about getting reimbursed by your health insurer for at-home tests.
No payment or credit card details are required to place an order. You also don’t need to provide any ID or health insurance information. You can, however, supply an email address if you’d like to receive shipping notifications from the Postal Service via email.
You also will not be asked for proof of citizenship or about your immigration status. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says that accessing free COVID testing (or getting a COVID vaccine) does not make you a public charge and won’t affect any current or future green card applications.