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Here's how to request free at-home COVID tests starting Wednesday

CBS News logo CBS News 2 days ago Kathryn Watson
COVID-19 home rapid test kits are seen on a shelf at a © Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images COVID-19 home rapid test kits are seen on a shelf at a

Americans will be able to order free at-home tests online starting Wednesday, part of the Biden administration's strategy to make COVID-19 tests more accessible as Omicron variant continues to cause high numbers of cases  across the U.S.

On Wednesday, Americans will be able to log onto COVIDTests.gov, where they will just need to enter their name and address. Tests should ship within seven to 12 days of ordering, the White House says. It's likely take longer than that to reach homes, though.

Tests will be limited to four per household, no matter the size of the household. 

Beginning Saturday, Americans with private health insurance will also be able to file for reimbursement for rapid tests purchased on or after Saturday. Eight tests per person covered by a policy will qualify. The Biden administration is encouraging health insurance companies to allow people to obtain the tests directly through retailers with no out-of-pocket cost. 

The Biden administration has also increased the number of at-home tests it will procure — from 500 million to 1 billion, or about three per person. In addition to increasing access to tests, President Biden also announced this week the government will ship free high-quality masks to Americans, something some health experts have said should have occurred before vaccines were widely available.

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