What you need to know about COVID-19 tests

If you haven’t been following the news, when you click to order your next set of free COVID-19 tests, you might find an unexpected message: “This program is not currently accepting orders for free at-home COVID-19 tests.” This doesn’t mean you can no longer get at-home tests. It simply means you’ll have to buy them. 

In this article: iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test, Clinitest Rapid Covid-19 Antigen Self-Test and DxTerity COVID-19 Saliva At-Home Collection Kit

Are at-home COVID-19 tests effective?

According to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), an at-home COVID-19 test “detects proteins, called antigens, from the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.” When these proteins are detected, the test results are positive. If no antigens are detected, the test results are negative.

If you have a positive test, you can be fairly certain you have the virus. However, if the test results are negative, it could mean no antigens were collected during the swabbing. In other words, you might still have the virus.

Because of this, the FDA advises repeating the test in 48 hours if you have symptoms and your initial results were negative. If you were just exposed and do not have symptoms, repeat the test in 48 hours. If you have a negative result, repeat the test again in 48 hours.

How to use an at-home COVID-19 test

While collecting the sample is often the same — swabbing the inside of each nostril for a designated amount of time — every at home COVID-19 test is performed differently. It’s important to read through all of the instructions so you understand the entire process before you tear anything open, as some may be time-sensitive and all are easily contaminated.

Will my insurance reimburse me for the purchase of an at-home COVID-19 test?

Coverage for OTC COVID-19 tests began on Jan. 15, 2022.​ However, to get reimbursed for your purchase, you must follow all instructions offered by your insurer. There may be limits on how many tests you can purchase or other stipulations that could cause your claim to be denied if you don’t follow all instructions.

Where to buy COVID-19 tests

Health and Wellness-Best iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test

iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test

This best-selling test is simple to perform and can be completed in 15 minutes. You get two tests per package and the results are easy to read and interpret.

Sold by Amazon

Health and Wellness-Best BD Veritor At-Home COVID-19 Test Kit

BD Veritor At-Home COVID-19 Test Kit

BD Veritor’s test is unique because you use your smartphone to scan the results of the test. Your phone converts the image into words so there’s no way to misinterpret the results. BD Veritor can detect multiple variants, including Delta and Omicron.

Sold by Amazon

Health and Wellness-Best Clinitest Rapid Covid-19 Antigen Self-Test

Clinitest Rapid Covid-19 Antigen Self-Test

Like other options, the Clinitest can be performed in about 15 minutes. The benefit to purchasing this option is it comes with five tests instead of the typical two.

Sold by Amazon

Health and Wellness -Best Celltrion DiaTrust COVID-19 Ag Home Test

Celltrion DiaTrust COVID-19 Ag Home Test

As of May 20, 2022, the FDA granted a six-month extension to the shelf life of the Celltrion DiaTrust COVID-19 Ag Home Test. There are two tests in each pack and you get results in 15 minutes.

Sold by Amazon

DxTerity COVID-19 Saliva At-Home Collection Kit

DxTerity COVID-19 Saliva At-Home Collection Kit

If you prefer a lab test, DxTerity is a solid option. This convenient kit collects a saliva sample that you can ship out to get confidential results in 48 hours.

Sold by Amazon

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of our consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 
 

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