The United States government is ending its free at-home COVID-19 testing kits in September due to the lack of funding.
“Ordering through this program will be suspended on Friday, September 2 because Congress hasn’t provided additional funding to replenish the nation’s stockpile of tests,” the ordering website says.
The White House started this program back in January and by May the White House said about 350 million tests were sent out. If they were to get funding for this, they would continue giving away free at-home COVID-19 testing kits.
“If Congress provides funding, we will expeditiously resume distribution of free tests through covidtests.gov,” said a White House official. “Until then, we believe reserving the remaining tests for distribution later this year is the best course.”
The senior Biden administration official said they have been clear about their urgent COVID-19 response funding needs.
“We have warned that Congressional inaction would force unacceptable tradeoffs and harm our overall COVID-19 preparedness and response—and that the consequences would likely worsen over time,” the White House official told CNN. “Unfortunately, because of the limited funding we have to work with, we have had to make impossible choices about which tools and programs to invest in—and which ones we must downsize, pause, or end all together.”
Most individuals in the U.S will still be able to get free testing or get reimbursed through their private insurance like Medicare or Medicaid.
Even though ordering at-home COVID-19 testing kits will be suspended on September 2, the government will no longer be taking orders so that they have some tests available in the fall.
“We have already distributed over 600 million tests through this program, and every household has had the opportunity to place three orders for a total of 16 tests,” said Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary.
The government will still continue to send free testing kits to schools, child care, community health centers, and long-term care facilities.