(ABC4) – Americans across the country can now have free at-home COVID-19 tests mailed to their home. The federal government launched the website a day early on Tuesday.
Aside from a few address issues for places like apartment buildings, things appear to be running smoothly, but the number of tests provided, four per household, could be frustrating for families, particularly in the Beehive State.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Utah has the largest average household in the U.S.
While Utah does have free drive-thru testing available, the lines are long. So long, state officials announced new guidelines for who should get tested. In January state officials told Utahns if they had symptoms and were not in an at-risk group, they should assume they have COVID-19 and not get tested.
The Utah Department of Health also recently launched two self-serve kiosks in Cedar City and St. George, where anyone can register to get a test. Charla Haley with the Utah Department of Health said these areas were chosen because it’s harder to get testing teams to those areas.
“It just made sense to create some self-serve kiosks first there and then see how they work and then move them to the larger areas where testing really is much more readily available for people who live in the more metropolitan areas,” said Haley.
In a perfect world everyone would have their own at-home tests, but given the current situation and how contagious omicron is, Haley said Utahns need to adjust.
“If you have someone in your house who tested positive and the rest of you are showing even mild symptoms, you probably have COVID or had COVID, you probably have it just the same as they do,” said Haley.
This month the federal government also issued a new rule that requires most insurance companies to reimburse people for any FDA-approved at-home COVID test, up to $12. Under the rule, individuals can get reimbursed for as many as eight tests a month, but there are exclusions. This reimbursement does not apply to Medicare, Medicaid, and voluntary insurance.