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Act fast: Friday is the last day to order free at-home COVID-19 tests from the government

Aug. 29, 2022
4 min read
New York State Sends At-Home Covid-19 Tests To Contain Spread
Act fast: Friday is the last day to order free at-home COVID-19 tests from the government
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

As of Sept. 2, American households will no longer be able to order free at-home rapid COVID-19 tests online through the government, so be sure to do so by then if you are still eligible to receive more tests.

Although these tests alone don’t meet the requirements outlined by most travel entities and countries with travel restrictions, you can use these tests for travel by purchasing an add-on virtual proctoring service.

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As of Aug. 29, each household is eligible for up to 16 tests. If you haven't already received the maximum number, head to and click on “Order Free At-Home Tests,” as illustrated below.


From there, you'll be directed to the United States Postal Service to order the tests.


Simply enter your contact and shipping information before selecting “Check Out Now.”


Once you click on “Check Out Now,” you'll be asked to review your order to verify your shipping address and contact information is correct before hitting "Place My Order."


After that, you should receive confirmation, via email and on screen from the USPS, explaining that the eight tests will be mailed in two packages of four tests, along with the subsequent tracking details related to each package.

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It may take a few minutes to receive a confirmation email.


Related: How to save money on pricey rapid COVID-19 PCR tests

If you haven’t ordered tests from the U.S. government before, you can submit up to three orders per household, for a total of 16 tests.

The White House initially distributed 500 million tests in January, declaring that families were eligible to order up to four at-home tests in both January and February.

But as of Sept. 2, the government is suspending the free at-home COVID-19 test program "because Congress hasn't provided additional funding to replenish the nation's stockpile of tests," per a note on the online ordering portal.

Bottom line

U.S. public health officials are warning of a possible testing shortage this fall, which means you'll want to get ahead of that and order tests, such as the ones available from the government for free.

Remember that these tests can be used when traveling to countries that require incoming passengers to submit negative predeparture tests by purchasing an add-on proctored service, as TPG credit cards editor Senitra Horbrook detailed on a recent trip.

If you've already ordered the maximum number from the government's testing program, rest assured there are a variety of at-home proctored tests available for travelers, including Abbott’s BinaxNow COVID-19 Home Test and Ellume’s COVID-19 Home Test.

Lastly, remember that you can submit the cost of these tests for reimbursement through major insurance plans.

For even more information on using at-home COVID-19 tests, read:

Featured photo by Angus Mordant/Bloomberg/Getty Images.

Featured image by GETTY IMAGES
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.