Watch CBS News

The Biden administration is giving away free COVID-19 tests today: How to get COVID tests for your entire family

mom carrying out a Covid-19 self test for her daughter
Getty Images

Free COVID tests from the federal government are back, as of today. You can order four through this portal on The tests will be shipped starting Oct. 2.

If you need more than four, or can't wait for the free ones to arrive, the shopping experts at CBS Essentials have found plenty available to order online as well.

Private insurance companies are required to reimburse for over-the-counter COVID-19 test kits, many of which can be delivered to your home in just a few days. Up to eight tests per person per month are reimbursable. Be sure to contact your insurance company for more details.

Once you've claimed your free tests, shop the reimbursable at-home COVID-19 test kits available for quick delivery below.

Does health insurance cover at-home COVID-19 tests?

Private insurance companies are required to reimburse for over-the-counter COVID test kits. Up to eight tests are covered per month, per person. The requirement, issued by the Biden administration, applies to all at-home COVID-19 tests covered under the emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (The emergency-use authorization status of a test is typically indicated on its packaging.) 

Contact your insurance company for more information about your policy.

Are at-home COVID-19 tests FSA and HSA eligible?

Yes, at-home COVID-19 tests are FSA and HSA eligible. 

Contact your FSA or HSA provider for details on reimbursement.

What are the most popular COVID-19 antigen tests you can buy online?

Find these coronavirus tests in stock at Amazon and Walmart. Every kit featured here has received emergency-use authorization from the FDA.    

On/Go COVID-19 antigen self-test kit (1-pack)

On/Go One Rapid COVID-19 Self-Test Kit

In December 2021, healthcare non-profit ECRI evaluated a number of the most popular at-home COVID-19 testing kits -- including BinaxNOW, BD Veritor, CareStart and Flowflex -- for ease of use. The group found that the Intrivo Diagnostics On/Go antigen test was the easiest to use. 

With this test, your results are ready in up to 10 minutes.

Like all the at-home COVID-19 tests listed here, this test has not been FDA-approved but has been authorized by the FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Do not use it on anyone under two years of age.

BinaxNow COVID-19 rapid antigen self-test kit (2-pack)

BinaxNOW Covid-19 Rapid Self-Test
Abbott via Walgreens

This rapid antigen test from Abbott contains two nasal swabs and can detect multiple COVID variants. Results from each swab are promised in up to 15 minutes.

This 4.5-star-rated test is suitable for ages two and older. 

More than 10,000 were purchased at Walmart in the past month.

"It provided an accurate result and allowed us to begin the isolation process much earlier than if we'd waited on [my nephew's] scheduled test at the wellness center," a Walmart reviewer says. "I think this is a useful tool, especially for those who need a rapid result but cannot afford the rapid testing fee that many doctors' offices charge."

The BinaxNow COVID-19 rapid antigen self-test kit is currently $16, reduced from $20 when purchased online.

Flowflex COVID-19 home test (5-pack)


If you're testing the whole family or testing regularly for work, it makes sense to buy your COVID-19 tests in bulk -- you'll get the best per-test price that way. These 4.5-star-rated Flowflex COVID-19 tests cost just $6 each at Amazon when you buy a pack of five.

"I like these tests because they aren't over-packaged," an Amazon reviewer says. "Some kits have unnecessary trays and solution vials that need to be poured into another sample vial."

They're currently out of stock on Amazon. Be sure to check back.

iHealth COVID-19 antigen rapid test (5-pack)


These 4.3-star-rated coronavirus tests by iHealth come in a five-pack. These bestselling nasal swab COVID tests offer results in up to 15 minutes. 

These are suitable for ages two and older. The iHealth Test app allows you to monitor and track a group's test results, if you so choose, as needed at school, work or an event.

You can also purchase iHealth COVID-19 antigen rapid tests in quantities of two.

iHealth COVID-19 antigen rapid test (2 pack), $18

Quidel QuickVue at-home OTC COVID-19 test (2-pack)

Quidel QuickVue at-Home OTC COVID-19 Test
Quidel via Amazon

Quidel's QuickVue is a rapid antigen test that contains two nasal swabs. It promises results in about 10 minutes. This 4.5-star-rated test is authorized for ages 2 and up. 

"Of the several brands I've tried this is by far the easiest test to administer, which makes a difference when you are sick and trying to test yourself," an Amazon reviewer says. "The instructions are large and easy to understand, so I didn't have to use my phone flashlight or read twice. The test materials themselves are well-designed with a large, easy-to-use swab."

You can also buy the Quidel QuickVue at-home OTC COVID-19 test in a 40-pack and 90-pack on Amazon.

Related content on CBS Essentials:

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.