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How You Can Get A Rapid Test At No Cost For 2023

4 minute read

By Christopher Brown

Rapid tests have played a prominent role in the way many Americans have learned to live with Covid-19. Free covid test kits were everywhere, and that availability made it easier to test for covid and helped ease the spread of the disease. And, though the federal government stopped delivering unlimited free tests, you can still find free covid test kits if you know where to look.

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at how families all over the country continue to get free covid test kits. We’ll review the finer points of at-home testing too. Remember, at-home tests are available for free, so be persistent, and keep searching online at local retailers until you find them.

What is A Covid Test Kit?

Covid test kits are over-the-counter tools designed to simplify the detection process. Instead of waiting in long lines at the hospital or local testing site, covid test kits empower families to seek results themselves. They might not be as accurate or sensitive as their laboratory equivalent, but they’re much faster and way more convenient.

Every at-home test kit comes packaged with an instruction manual that shows you how to use the test, and how to read the results. You’ll want to follow those instructions as precisely as you possibly can to ensure a reliable result.

At-home rapid tests are great at detecting the virus, and you can generally trust a positive test result. Should you test negative though, proceed with caution. Just because your at-home rapid test didn’t detect an infection doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Which is why the FDA recommends Americans follow up a negative test with a repeat test approximately 48 hours after the first test.

Do At Home Test Kits Expire?

Sadly, stocking up doesn’t solve your availability problems. Covid tests do indeed have a shelf life. At home test kits rely on ingredients that degrade over time, decreasing their reliability to detect infection.

How long they last depends on the manufacturer, but none of them are immune to expiry dates. All the more reason to read the labels every time you test, and find a way to find a reliable source of free tests nearby.

How Much Do Covid Test Kits Cost?

There’s a reason all of us are doing so much work to try and find free alternatives. Covid test kits can be surprisingly expensive for those left with no choice but to pay out of pocket for them. As with anything, prices vary between brands, and shipping costs depend on where you live.

Having said that, paying as much as $15 per test isn’t out of the ordinary. It isn’t exactly realistic for most people either. The situation is forcing a lot of people to go all out in their search for free tests, or avoiding testing altogether.

Where to Find Free Covid Test Kits

You don’t have to choose between paying exorbitant amounts and not testing. You may not be able to depend on the federal government to provide your family with tests in the same way, but there are still free tests to be found.

State and Community Resources

Finding free rapid tests locally can be a matter of staying engaged with your local community organizers and state-level officials. It’s in a community’s best interest to make rapid tests available to those that can’t afford to buy them. So be sure to stay informed on local pop-ups and rapid test distribution sites and be ready to capitalize when they do occur.


Medicare recipients shouldn’t ever have to worry about paying for rapid tests. Those with Original Medicare receive full coverage for up to 8 over-the-counter rapid tests each calendar month.

Health Insurance

Americans with health insurance likely receive similar coverage. In fact, a lot of pharmacists even offer to submit your claim for you. If you have health insurance, don’t pay for covid tests. Instead, use your insurance to get up to 8 rapid antigen tests per person, per month.

Federal Government

Even if you don’t have insurance, you can still get the federal government to send you four free at-home tests. The latest initiative is designed to help Americans withstand the winter flu season, and applies to every U.S. household.

Get A Free Covid Test Kit Today!

You might not be able to depend on free covid test kits being delivered to your home by the federal government forever, but every household is still eligible to receive at least four more free tests. There’s always the option to use your insurance provider, or Medicare to cover the costs too.

You really don’t have to accept the soaring costs of at-home test kits. By doing your research, and leaning on all of the resources you have available online and in your community, you should be able to supply yourself with enough at-home rapid tests kits to keep you and your family safe.

Shutterstock: Ink Drop

Christopher Brown


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