American News Jan 14, 2022 6:26 PM EST

Biden admin to begin sending free at-home COVID-19 tests

Starting on Jan. 19, every household will be able to order four tests through a government-run website. Tests will be delivered through the US Postal Service in seven to 12 days, according to the White House.

Biden admin to begin sending free at-home COVID-19 tests
Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Starting next week, the Biden administration will begin offering Americans free at-home COVID-19 tests as part of the White House's efforts to send out 500 million tests.

Starting on Jan. 19, each individual household will be able to order four tests through a website run by the Department of Health and Human Services. Tests will be delivered through the United States Postal Service in seven to 12 days, according to the White House.

An official told NBC News that the US Postal Service has been staffing up and keeping on holiday staff to meet the added demand.

The website stressed to Americans that "the tests will be completely free—there are no shipping costs and you don’t need to enter a credit card number."

The White House said to ensure that Americans have tests in hand, they are purchasing one billion at-home rapid tests, with 500 million being made available through this program.

"Since January 2021, the Administration has taken significant action to dramatically increase the nation’s overall COVID-19 testing supply, the number of tests authorized for use in the US, and the number of places where Americans can get a test, while lowering costs for consumers and increasing access to free tests," the White House wrote.

They noted that this "comprehensive approach has produced important results," including the fact that there are now nine at-home rapid tests available on the market in the US.

300 million at-home rapid tests were available in the US market in December, up from 24 million in August of 2021.

"This month, the number of at-home, rapid tests available to the U.S. market will rise to 375 million—in addition to the free tests available through COVIDTests.gov," the White House said.

The official told NBC News that the Biden administration estimates it will cost a total of $4 billion to purchase and distribute the tests .

Alongside the home test announcement, the White House stated that starting on Jan. 15, private insurance companies will be required to cover at-home COVID-19 tests purchased at a retailer. The White House also stated that it was sending 10 million additional rapid tests to schools.

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