10 quick tests for Covid-19 at home and where to find them


Your test result is likely to be invalid. This means that the test does not work. If this happens with your first test, you can try again with the second in the box (although you will need to purchase another package to test again).

Variable shares and insurance coverage

Getting a quick test for Covid at home is not as simple as going to a drugstore or clicking Add to Cart. Availability is in constant flow, so you will need to check regularly online or in physical stores. We suggest you call local drugstores and pharmacies to check availability.

To keep up with increased demand, retailers limit the number of customer tests. At Walgreens, you are limited to four in-store and online shopping tests. Walmart limits its customers to six online shopping tests (no store limit). In CVS you will only be able to purchase six tests at a time.

The cost of home kits can increase quickly. The Biden administration has officially launched its initiative to distribute 500 million fast home test kits for Covid in the United States free of charge. You can order yours through USPS here. You will receive four rapid tests for Covid-19 antigen, but you are limited to one household order. The test kits will be delivered at the end of January.

As of January 15, insurance companies (both private and group health plans) are required to cover eight FDA-approved tests for Covid-19 without a prescription per person each month. There is no limit if the test is ordered through or administered by a healthcare provider after a clinical evaluation (including those who need them for an underlying medical condition).

Depending on your insurers’ network of preferred pharmacies and retailers, you will be able to order a test online or take it in person for free. If your insurance plan does not offer a preferred network, you can file a claim with your receipt to be reimbursed the full amount out of pocket. Order a test outside of your network and you may be refunded up to $ 12 per test. Do you have a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA)? You can choose to use or purchase Covid rapid test kits at home.

Quick home tests for Covid-19

Abbott BinaxNow Antigen Rapid Self-Test Kit

Photo: Abbott

Walgreens, Walmart ($ 20), CVS, Sam’s Club ($ 14), Ritual help

Abbot’s BinaxNow Kit provides results within 15 minutes of smearing the nose and placing the sample in the included test card. You can then use Navica, the companion app, to report your results yourself. Those who test negative will receive a temporary encrypted digital pass, which they can use as official proof of the test result. With two tests in each box, the company recommends taking another no earlier than 24 hours, but no later than 48 hours. Several members of the Gear team have used this test. We can’t verify its accuracy, but it was easy to use with clear instructions.

Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Just medical, Everliwell ($ 25), Carewell ($ 27)

With the QuickVue test at home, all you have to do is rub both your nostrils, swirl the swab into the pre-filled solution tube and dip the test strip in it for 10 minutes. If the result is positive, you will see both a blue line and a pink line on the bar. If it is negative, you will only see a blue line. This kit comes with two tests, so you can do another one in three days. I used this test – it’s easy to administer and understand.



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