Biden administration suspends free at-home COVID exams program

The federal authorities on Friday suspended its program for ordering free at-home COVID exams “as a result of Congress hasn’t offered further funding to replenish the nation’s stockpile of exams.”

Why it issues: The Biden administration is suspending new orders to protect “restricted provide” to make sure there are exams accessible within the fall when it is potential “we’d face a brand new rise in infections and extra acute want,” a senior administration official stated in an announcement to Axios.

By the numbers: Over 600 million exams have been distributed via this system.

  • Each family had the chance to put three orders for a complete of 16 exams.

In the meantime, non-public medical health insurance firms, Medicare and Medicaid are nonetheless masking COVID exams both instantly or via reimbursement.

  • 92% of People are coated by considered one of these packages that present as much as eight coated exams per individual every month.
  • Different low or no-cost testing choices exist for individuals with out insurance coverage.
  • Some states and native governments proceed to supply free exams.

What they’re saying: “Now we have warned that Congressional inaction would pressure unacceptable tradeoffs and hurt our total COVID-19 preparedness and response — and that the implications would possible worsen over time,” the senior administration official stated within the assertion to Axios.

  • “Sadly, due to the restricted funding we now have to work with, we now have needed to make unattainable selections about which instruments and packages to spend money on — and which of them we should downsize, pause, or finish all collectively,” the assertion stated.
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What’s subsequent: This system might return if extra funding is offered, the senior administration official stated.

  • “If Congress offers funding, we’ll expeditiously resume distribution of free exams via COVIDTests.gov. Till then, we imagine reserving the remaining exams for distribution later this yr is the most effective course,” the assertion stated.
COVID take a look at expiration dates prolonged

The Meals and Drug Administration has prolonged expiration dates for a number of over-the-counter COVID exams, including a number of months to the “use by” date, Axios’ Melissa Santos experiences.

  • Examine the FDA’s web site for a full record of accredited COVID-19 exams and their revised expiration dates.

Flashback: The at-home COVID take a look at program first launched in January and initially allowed for 4 free exams per residential handle, no matter what number of lived in a family. It expanded in March and in Could.

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