"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

The federal program offers free at-home COVID and flu testing and coverings

December 7, 2023 – The U.S. government has expanded a program that gives free COVID-19 and flu testing and treatment.

The Home Test to Treat program is virtual, providing rapid testing, telehealth sessions and at-home treatments to people across the country. The program is a collaboration between the National Institutes of Health, the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response and the CDC. It began as a pilot program in some locations this yr.

“With its expansion, the Home Test to Treat program will now provide free testing, telemedicine, and treatment for both COVID-19 and influenza (flu) A and B,” the NIH said in a Press release. “It is the first public health program to include home testing technology on such a scale for both COVID-19 and influenza.”

The press release states that anyone age 18 or older with a current positive test for COVID-19 or flu can receive free telemedicine care and medications delivered to their home.

Adults who should not have COVID-19 or the flu can receive free testing in the event that they are uninsured or enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Affairs health system or Indian Health Services. If they later test positive, they will receive free telemedicine care and, if prescribed, treatment.

For more information, see Home test for treatment.

“I think that this one [telehealth] “Delivery mechanisms will be absolutely critical to decongest in-person offices and the lines we have and to eliminate wait times,” said Michael Mina, MD, chief science officer at eMed, the corporate leading the implementation of the brand new Home Test to Treat program, Zu ABC News.

ABC notes that COVID tests will also be ordered at covidtests.gov – 4 tests per household or eight for individuals who haven’t yet ordered one this fall.