Under criticism after a few weeks of shortages, President Joe Biden’s administration has made the COVID-19 rapid test kit more available and available to Americans by increasing supply and lowering costs. Is working on. A new federal website requesting a free test kit will be launched on Wednesday, with first shipments destined for Americans by the end of the month. In addition, most Americans can get a refund for tests purchased from Saturday.
Important details about the new program:
How do I request a free test?
Starting Wednesday, January 19th, you can order free tests at COVIDtests.gov. The first test will be shipped by the end of January. The White House states through the United States Postal Service that “tests are usually shipped within 7-12 days of ordering.” The USPS reports that first-class packaged services in the US mainland will ship in 1-3 days. Shipments to addresses in Alaska, Hawaii, the Army Postal Service (APO), Fleet Post Office (FPO), and Diplomatic Post Office (DPO) will be sent by priority mail.
Importantly, given shipping and processing times, Americans need to request testing before meeting federal guidelines. test..
When do I need to test?
The Disease Control and Prevention Center recommends home testing if people experience a COVID-19 system such as fever, cough, sore throat, respiratory symptoms, and muscle aches. 5 days after potential COVID-19 exposure. Or as part of a test-to-stay protocol at school or at work.
How many tests can I order from the website?
The White House states that “to facilitate widespread access”, shipments from COVIDtests.gov are initially limited to four rapid tests per residential address, regardless of the number of residents. I am.
Is there another way to get the test kit for free?
Starting Saturday, private insurers will be required to pay for a maximum of eight home-based rapid tests per insured per insured in accordance with the new Biden administration rules.
People have the option to buy the test in store or online and ask the health insurance company for a refund. Insurance companies are encouraged to work with pharmacies and retailers to plan to cover inspection costs without incurring customer out-of-pocket costs, but these programs will not become widespread soon. ..
Those who have or do not have public health insurance through Medicare will be transferred to COVIDtests.gov to order the test or sent to the local community health center to provide a free test. To do.
How are refunds made?
The Biden administration has stated that the procedure is different for each insurance company, and Americans are encouraging them to save receipts from quick inspection purchases for later repayment and ask the insurance company for information. ..
Importantly, this requirement is only for purchases after Saturday. Insurance companies are not expected to retroactively reimburse the cost of previously purchased tests.
What are the other test options?
The Biden administration emphasizes that the website is just one tool for Americans to access the COVID-19 test. In some parts of the country, millions of free tests are available at participating pharmacy locations, community health centers, and sites backed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Which home test do you want to get?
It’s different. The federal government has already secured more than 420 million tests for distribution through COVIDtests.gov and plans to increase orders to 1 billion tests in the coming weeks. All tests provided are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and can detect the more contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19, the predominant strain in the United States, but with different packages and few steps. May vary. According to officials, the detection and efficacy testing mechanisms are generally the same. All tests come with detailed instructions.
Why does BIDEN buy these test kits?
This represents the president’s approval that the government needs to do more to increase access to the COVID-19 test, which is an important tool for slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
Testing is the only way to tell if an infected person is infected with the virus, whether or not they are symptomatic.
As vacations approached, people became enthusiastic about testing themselves and their families before traveling, and Omicron variants spread rapidly in just a few weeks and became the dominant strain in the United States, demand for test kits increased. Rapidly increased
Biden’s 1 billion test kit promise is in addition to the government’s previous commitment to send 50 million rapid tests to community health centers nationwide.
How much does the program cost?
The White House estimates that the cost of purchasing and distributing the first 500 million tests is about $ 4 billion. It will be paid with money from the $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue bill that Biden signed the law in March.
Do government programs make it difficult for me to find tests in drugstores?
White House officials have stated that the COVIDtests.gov test comes from new manufacturing capabilities and should not interfere with the existing supply on which drugstores, clinics and state governments depend.
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