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Free COVID-19 Test Options

Thursday, January 5, 2023

In addition to staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines and booster doses, taking a COVID-19 test when you’re not feeling well is another way to help keep you and those around you safe. The federal government is again offering residential households in the U.S. a limited number of free at-home antigen rapid diagnostic tests. Visit www.covidtests.gov to place your order.

What are other testing options?

TRICARE continues to cover medically necessary COVID-19 tests ordered by a TRICARE-authorized provider and performed at a TRICARE-authorized lab or facility. Additionally, FDA-approved at-home antigen rapid diagnostic test kits may be covered with a doctor’s order. Remember, TRICARE does not charge a copayment or cost-share for covered tests.  

Outside of the TRICARE benefit, options for obtaining free at-home tests without a doctor's order include: 

  • Ordering free at-home antigen rapid diagnostic tests through www.covidtests.gov.
  • Checking with your local military hospital or clinic. Military hospitals and clinic personnel may provide at-home tests to TRICARE-eligible beneficiaries, subject to availability.
  • Going to a community-based testing site for no-cost COVID-⁠19 testing options.
  • Seeking reimbursement from private or employer-sponsored health insurance. If you have other health insurance, you may be eligible for reimbursement for up to eight at-home COVID-19 tests per month (per individual) without a doctor's order under that health plan. 

Reminder: The current mandate for private insurance companies to cover FDA-approved at-home COVID-19 tests without a physician’s order does not apply to TRICARE. Currently, TRICARE requires medical necessity and a physician’s order. 

For more COVID-19 resources and information, visit www.tricare.mil/coronavirus, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus, and www.tricare-west.com.