The Biden administration introduced Wednesday that it might as soon as once more start mailing speedy at-home COVID checks to American households, freed from cost. The information comes amid one of many largest COVID surges the nation has seen, with hospitalizations and deaths each rising, although removed from report highs.
Here’s what you want to know concerning the rebirth of this federal program:
Q: When can I get extra free checks?
A: Every U.S. household can request a new shipment of free tests, starting Monday, Sept. 25. The checks will probably be accessible by means of the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Companies’ COVID web site — covid.gov/tests — and will probably be delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.
Q: What number of free checks can I get?
A: Every family is eligible for 4 free checks delivered on to the house, no matter what number of checks your family acquired in earlier rounds.
This system, began in January 2022 by the Biden administration, distributed greater than 600 million checks earlier than officers halted this system late that summer season, citing an absence of funding. The administration then resumed providing checks late final yr earlier than halting this system once more this spring. Based on HHS, greater than 2 out of three households acquired a cargo of free checks.
Q: What concerning the speedy at-home checks I have already got?
A: When you’ve got previous speedy at-home checks within the medication cupboard, public health officials are encouraging people to check to see if the expiration date has been retroactively extended on this list from the Food and Drug Administration. You could find the checklist on the FDA web site, fda.gov.
Q: Can I get free checks nonetheless by means of my insurance coverage?
A: Most California residents with employer-provided medical insurance can nonetheless get free checks by means of your insurance coverage supplier, not less than for an additional seven weeks. Based on the California Department of Public Health website, “most California insurance coverage should pay or reimburse for 8 at-home take a look at kits monthly by means of November 11, 2023.”
Ask your insurance coverage firm for particulars, and you may check this CDPH tipsheet for more details about what kind of COVID care is covered.
Q: What concerning the new vaccine pictures?
A: Pharmacies and medical suppliers at the moment are providing the brand new model of the COVID vaccine, authorized final week with a brand new method, based mostly on a lately circulating model of the omicron virus variant referred to as XBB.1.5. Everybody 6 months and older is eligible and inspired by public well being consultants to get the shot together with the annual flu vaccine as we head into the winter, when respiratory viruses normally surge.
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