Rapid COVID Test

Securing Your At-Home Rapid COVID-19 Tests

Getting a rapid COVID at-home test hopefully became a little easier starting this past January.

Effective January 15, 2022, health insurance companies began to cover the cost of at-home tests. In addition, free tests became available online through COVIDtests.gov.

Where to Get Tests

On the COVIDtests.gov website, no insurance information is required. Each household in the United States can receive four free tests through this method. Online ordering using this website is quick and easy. The only information needed is your name and shipping address, with the option to add your email if you want to track the shipment. After placing your order, you should receive your tests within 7-10 days.

In addition, health insurance companies are now required to cover the cost of up to 8 at-home FDA-authorized rapid COVID diagnostic tests per covered person, per month. Whether you can get the test with no out-of-pocket expense or have to pay for the test initially and submit your receipt for reimbursement depends upon your insurance provider.

Difference Between Rapid and PCR Tests

The rapid at-home tests allow individuals to use a nasal swab to collect a specimen they can test for the presence of specific proteins found in the coronavirus. When done correctly, test results can be available in 15-45 minutes.

The PCR test, which is commonly available at more than 10,000 community-based COVID testing sites located across the country tests for viral RNA and may take a day or more to get results.  With these tests, a medical professional performs the test and sends it to a lab for results.

With locations across the country, PAM Health hospital team members have treated thousands of COVID-19 patients and have witnessed the damage that can result from this illness.  We continue to encourage eligible individuals to get the COVID-19 vaccine and to order the at-home tests they are eligible to receive.