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Free At-Home COVID-19 Test Options for Families

March 9th, 2022

at-home rapid antigen COVID-19 test sitting on a tabletop

How to access at-home test kits at no cost

If you need a COVID-19 test, there are many ways you can test at home for free.

COVID-19 home test kits are available at no cost by mail or pick-up at specified locations.

You may also be eligible for insurance reimbursement or Medicaid coverage at participating pharmacies. Here is a summary of the current options:

  • Every home in the United States is eligible to order another round of free at-home tests through the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) at https://special.usps.com/testkits. Please note:
    • Limit of one order per residential address.
    • Your order will include four individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests.
    • Orders will ship free.
    • For those who cannot access the internet or need help placing an order:
      • Call (800) 232-0233 or the TTY line at (888) 720-7489 to get help in English, Spanish and more than 150 other languages.
  • USPS is also distributing more accessible tests for individuals who are blind or have low vision. The tests work with a compatible Bluetooth-enabled smartphone and a free app to provide users with audible instructions and audible test results. You can order these accessible tests at https://special.usps.com/testkits/accessible or by calling (800) 232-0233. Please note:
    • There is a limit of one order per residential address.
    • Each order includes 12 accessible rapid-antigen tests.
    • Supplies are limited. Please do not order the more accessible tests if you have options for using the standard tests.
    • Orders ship free while supplies last.
  • Free COVID-19 rapid tests are available for vulnerable Illinoisans. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is distributing at-home, over-the-counter COVID-19 rapid antigen tests to economically disadvantaged Illinois families in zip codes outside the city of Chicago. Tests are available on a first-come, first-served basis and will be delivered to your home address. To learn if your household is eligible for one package of five tests visit the Project Act website.
  • If you have health insurance through an employer or Marketplace, your insurance will pay you back for eight at-home tests each month for each person on your plan.
  • Individuals with disabilities can also contact the Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) for help with available testing options, including ordering free at-home test kits.
    • Contact DIAL Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at (888) 677-1199 or email DIAL@usaginganddisability.org.
    • Individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing can reach DIAL using the 711/Video Relay Service (VRS).

You may also visit www.covidtests.gov/ to see where at-home tests are available for sale. The website includes a list of free testing sites available by state. It also provides information about other testing resources.

If you have questions about testing your child, this article from HealthyChildren.org gives a helpful overview of the different types of COVID-19 tests available and what parents need to know.

Your child’s pediatrician can help you determine when testing is a good idea and which type of test would be best. Please contact their office with any questions.

For more information on testing options, assistance programs and caregiver support, visit the Division of Specialized Care for Children’s COVID-19 Resource Directory.