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How to Get a COVID-19 Test at Home

SmarterTravel

Need a COVID-19 test before you fly to another country or drive to another state? It can be hard to find a testing facility that takes appointments and can get you the results in time for your travel.

A number of companies have sprung up to meet this demand, offering at-home COVID-19 testing that you can do without leaving your house or waiting in line. These at-home testing kits come with detailed instructions, next-day shipping return labels, and access to health care professionals in the event of a positive result.

Many of these companies have received an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), which is a special provision given by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that allows medical products that have not been officially approved by the FDA to be used in an emergency. 

If you plan to use one of these tests to meet travel requirements, be sure to check with your destination and/or airline that it meets their criteria, as some have strict rules on what types of tests are required. 

These are the best FDA-authorized at-home tests currently available:

everlywell

In order to buy everlywell’s at-home COVID-19 test, you must complete an online screening questionnaire to determine your eligibility. Currently, the tests are reserved for people experiencing symptoms or who have had possible exposure to the virus, so you can’t order them just for travel. If you purchase the test, everlywell will provide you an itemized receipt so that you can get reimbursed through your insurance (note that insurance coverage for COVID-19 testing varies). 

Type of Test: RT-PCR

Cost: $109

Collection Method: Lower nasal swab

Time to Receive Results: Within 24-48 hours of the lab receiving the sample

Who Can Get the Test: Only people with symptoms or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Hims & Hers

Hims & Hers’ requires potential purchasers to complete an online consultation about their health, medical history, and lifestyle. The information will be reviewed by a licensed healthcare provider who will determine if you can buy the test.

Type of Test: RT-qPCR

Cost: $150

Collection Method: Saliva

Time to Receive Results: 3-5 days after shipping your sample to the lab.

Who Can Get the Test: Only people with symptoms or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

LetsGetChecked

In order to purchase LetsGetChecked’s at-home COVID-19 testing kit, you must complete a quick survey. Anyone without mild symptoms/exposure to the virus or anyone with severe symptoms will not be allowed to buy one. The company accepts FSA and HSA cards for payments, and will also provide you with an itemized receipt to submit to your insurance for reimbursement. 

Type of Test: RT-PCR

Cost: $119

Collection Method: Lower nasal swab

Time to Recieve Results: Within 24-72 hours of receiving the sample.

Who Can Get the Test: Only people with symptoms or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Phosphorus

02_28_19_Phosphorus_(by_productglamour.com)

For Phosphorus’ at-home COVID-19 test, note that you cannot collect your sample on a Friday or Saturday. You’ll need to perform the test on Sunday through Thursdays, and deliver it to FedEx on the same day in order to get accurate results. After you have purchased the test, you will receive a medical questionnaire to fill out, which must be completed and approved by Phosphorus’ physicians before the testing kit is shipped out.

Type of Test: RT-qPCR

Cost: $140

Collection Method: Saliva

Time to Receive Results: 72 hours from receiving the sample.

Who Can Get the Test: Only people experiencing symptoms.

Picture

Picture’s at-home COVID-19 test is available to anyone aged 18 or over, however, limited tests are available each day. You’ll still need to complete an online questionnaire to order the test (which will stop you from buying the test and direct you to the hospital if it thinks you need immediate medical attention), but do not need a reason to purchase. 

Type of Test: Nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT)

Cost: $119

Collection Method: Lower nasal swab

Time to Receive Results: Within 48 hours after receiving your sample.

Who Can Get the Test: Anyone aged 18 years or older in the U.S. 

Pixel

Pixel is currently reserving at-home COVID-19 tests for symptomatic people or anyone who has been advised to get tested by their doctor, contact tracer, etc. Pixel’s tests are available free of charge to uninsured individuals, and they can also bill your insurance upfront on your behalf.

Type of Test: RT-PCR

Cost: $0 for qualifying individuals or $119 for people paying out of pocket.

Collection Method: 

Time to Receive Results: 

Who Can Get the Test: People experiencing symptoms or who have been advised by a healthcare professional to get tested.

Vault Health

Vault Health’s at-home COVID-19 testing kit involves the collection of a saliva sample under the supervision of a professional (via Zoom). You do not need to schedule an appointment in advance for the video test, which is available seven days of the week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST. Vault’s tests can be shipped to all 50 states as well as Puerto Rico.

Type of Test: RT-qPCR

Cost: $119

Collection Method: Saliva

Time to Receive Results: 48-72 hours after receiving your sample.

Who Can Get the Test: Anyone aged 18 years or older (parents can order tests for children).

Vitagene

Vitagene offers one of the first FDA-authorized COVID-19 saliva tests for at-home. Do not eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum for 30 minutes before collecting your sample. HSA and FSA cards are accepted, and anyone who wants one can purchase the test.

Type of Test: Saliva

Cost: $129

Collection Method: Saliva

Time to Receive Results: Within 72 hours of receiving the sample.

Who Can Get the Test: Anyone aged 18 years or older in the U.S. 

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