Dec. 7, 2023 -- The U.S. government has expanded a program offering free COVID-19 and flu tests and treatment.
The Home Test to Treat program is virtual and offers at-home rapid tests, telehealth sessions, and at-home treatments to people nationwide. The program is a collaboration among 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 year.
“With its expansion, the Home Test to Treat program will now offer free testing, telehealth and treatment for both COVID-19 and for influenza (flu) A and B,” the NIH said in a press release. “It is the first public health program that includes home testing technology at such a scale for both COVID-19 and flu.”
The news release says that anyone 18 or over with a current positive test for COVID-19 or flu can get free telehealth care and medicine delivered to their home.
Adults who don’t have COVID-19 or the flu can get free tests if they are uninsured or are enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Affairs health care system, or Indian Health Services. If they test positive later, they can get free telehealth care and, if prescribed, treatment.
More information is available at Home Test to Treat.
"I think that these [telehealth] delivery mechanisms are going to be absolutely crucial to unburden the in-person offices and the lines that we have and wait times," said Michael Mina, MD, chief science officer at eMed, the company that helped implement the new Home Test to Treat program, to ABC News.
ABC notes that COVID tests can also be ordered at covidtests.gov – four tests per household or eight for those who have yet to order any this fall.