When Should I Use An at Home COVID Test?

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Our world has been incredibly changed after the sudden and outrageous outbreak of COVID-19. This infectious disease has not only changed our preferences but our thinking pattern as well. Free COVID tests can help determine if someone has this deadly virus. For example, today, your first preference is not to provide better education to your children but to think about the ways to protect them from the transmittable Coronavirus.

This is because you cannot achieve the goal of providing your kids the best education without protecting them from the life-threatening Coronavirus.

The chances of the prevalence of the Covid virus among kids of age less than 10 years are greater than in kids older than 10 years. The percentage of prevalence of Coronavirus is 38.2% among children between 5 to 10 years of age, which is greater than the prevalence percentage of 15 % among the kids of age between 16 to 17 years in the US as of 2022.  Not to forget, seniors are also at a higher risk of Covid, even more than kids. According to statistics, 80% of the deaths caused by COVID-19 were of people over the age of 65. That is why individuals over 65 can get 8 extra fee tests with Medicare part B when every individual is allowed only 8 at home free Covid tests per month.

The rapid rise in the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has intensified the need for a Home COVID Test even if you are completely vaccinated.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report 2021, 2,871,828 cases of COVID-19 were reported among people in the USA in 2020.

However, quite a good number of different sorts of free OTC COVID tests are available to people today. When you think you need testing, the very next and the most popular question you ask is,

Can I do the COVID test at home?

Yes, you can!

In fact, COVID testing along with other protective measures such as wearing your mask ritually or getting yourself vaccinated are vital to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

What is an At Home COVID Test?

A kind of test you can do without leaving home is commonly known as the “at home COVID test”. At-home COVID tests do not only give you quicker results but also can be taken everywhere, irrespective of your vaccination status or regardless of the fact if you have clear symptoms or not. Here are some key points you need to know about an OTC COVID test:

  • You can use at home COVID test if you want to identify existing infection as it does not spot antibodies that would propose a prior infection and does not measure your immunity level.
  • You can use it for fast results.
  • It helps protect you and your loved ones by reducing the prospects of COVID-19 diffusion.

When Should You Use At Home COVID Test?

You are seriously mistaken if you think you are now vaccinated and do not need to use an at home COVID test. You should use at home COVID test irrespective of your vaccination status. A lot of different kinds of at home COVID tests are available such as LetsGetChecked, Vitagene, Lucira Check It, and many others.

The prices of each test vary, and the period of getting results also differs. For instance, you will get test results within 15 minutes if you use BinaxNOW. Likewise, if you want to use at home COVID test for your kid more than 2 years old, Flowflex is suitable for you. Therefore, you should select the at home COVID test in accordance with your budget and preferences. 

Here are some critical guiding points that will help you choose the right at home COVID test:

  • Always see if the instructions mentioned are easily readable and understandable. You cannot take the sample unless you clearly understand the procedure.
  • The at home COVID test you select should be approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • Take the test when you have a free day because the test results will be better if you send the sample the same day.
  • Go for a Covid home test with an easy sample collecting technique. For example, the saliva sample method is comparatively more straightforward than the nasal swab method.

Where to get at home COVID test kit from?

You can order free OTC COVID test kits from the government website COVIDtests.gov. However, local health departments as well as Medcare also offer free at home COVID tests.

You can also purchase an OTC Covi test kit from pharmacies or retail stores. You should prefer buying an FDA-approved at-home COVID test as they are deemed safe and effective for use. Also, visit the website of the FDA to get updated information about FDA-approved tests.

A community testing site is another place where you can get at home COVID tests from.

What is next after deciding on using at home COVID test?

The very next step after selecting the suitable at home COVID test for you is to know the right time to use it.

Here are some of the situations when you should use at home COVID tests:

COVID-19 Symptoms

You should immediately use at home COVID test if you notice any COVID-19 symptoms. If the test result is positive, it means you have COVID. The results of at home COVID test are accurate, so you do not have to go for another test for confirmation of the results.

However, if you have COVID symptoms, the possibility of COVID cannot be ruled out even if you get a negative test result from the test. In this situation, you should go for a more sensitive PCR test. If it is not possible to go for a PCR test, you should repeat the antigen test the next day.

One thing you should not forget in any situation is to isolate yourself unless you get the result from PCR. However, isolation for almost 10 days is recommended if a PCR test is not possible for you.

Without COVID-19 Symptoms

What if you do not have COVID symptoms?

At home COVID test is recommended even without seeing any COVID signs in you. However, it is preferable if you use it prior to any kind of gathering either at home or outside the home. This will help you reduce the risk of COVID.

One point you need to remember is,

The results of an at home COVID test are valid from 8-12 hours as the results can change fast, which means your antigen at home COVID test result can be positive after 12 hours. 

At home COVID test cannot help in preventing a COVID attack. Therefore, the host of a get-to-gather should ensure that everyone has used at home COVID test before the gathering.

After Meeting a Person with COVID

At home COVID is recommended if you meet anyone in person who has COVID. This test is still recommended even if you meet that person with a mask or if you are vaccinated.  Now you must be thinking should you use this test right after meeting someone with COVID?

At least 5 days after your meeting is the recommended period to use at home COVID test. If you get a negative result, you should test again after 1 or 2 days of the first test.

Before Going To Party

If you are going to attend any outdoor or indoor party or a get-to gather, you should use at home COVID test. Even if you have a few people in the party observing all necessary safety measures, you should use at home COVID test.

Human life is precious, and it is your duty to take care of yourself and others’ welfare as well. You should use this test either right before the party or close to the time of the event.

In fact, there is no specific time when you should use an at home COVID test. You can use a Covid test any time after purchasing it. However, using it and sending the sample to the laboratory on the same day of purchase will give you rapid and more reliable results as late sample submission may affect the test results.

How to Interpret At Home COVID Test Results?

At-home COVID test is a quick and useful way to control the spread of COVID, particularly if you go outdoors for education, work, or social meetings. However, considering it a substitution for COVID preventive measures is only a misconception. An at home COVID test is only a risk control strategy to help you be safe.

Interpretation of at home COVID test results is, indeed easy. You have COVID if the results are positive. However, it is better to consider you are infected even if the result is unclear.

Isolate yourself even after getting unclear results and repeat the test within 6-12 hours. Go for a PCR test only if you see symptoms even after getting a negative at home COVID test result.

Get Yourself Insurance Today

From January 15, 2022 onward, you need insurance plans and insurers for the coverage of at home COVID test, according to the new policy. However, before January 15, it was not necessary. You should contact your health plan provider if you want to get reimbursement for at home COVID tests bought before January 15.

Some states of the USA may still have existing conditions regarding coverage of at-home COVID-19 tests. However, you can get at home COVID test without insurance from some public health centers in some states of the US.

Every month, it is necessary for insurers to refund the cost of 8 at home COVID tests per person who is insured. This means a doctor’s prescription is not necessary to get at home COVID test.

What you need to do is to submit a claim form with a copy of the test purchasing receipt. You have different ways to file a claim, such as by email or through a website.

In some cases, a list of chosen stores, or online retailers are set by your plan from where you can easily buy OTC COVID tests without paying on the spot. However, if you want to buy an at home COVID test kit from retailers or stores other than those mentioned in your plan, you can do it and will also get reimbursement.

For example, if your plan has not set up a network of stores or pharmacies, you have to pay for the test. But later, you will get reimbursement. This is because every plan has to reimburse at a percentage of up to $12 per each at home COVID test.

So, save your receipt to get reimbursement for the at-home COVID test.

Medicare: All You Need To Cover Yourself

Medicare is one of the leading US insurance advisers and providers you can count on fearlessly.

With thirteen years of experience, Medicare has the credit of helping people find an appropriate insurance plan in accordance with their budget. You can access Medicare user-friendly services either on the phone, via the website, or by making a physical visit to the office.

You will not only get health care coverage information but also assistance on complete coverage for at-home COVID tests or lab COVID tests, which will make your decision-making regarding purchasing insurance easy for at-home COVID tests.

When you open the site, you will find Medicare is divided up into four parts. For example, you generally do not pay a periodic premium for Hospital Insurance for the COVID test, which is part A. You should select the part according to your requirements. Plenty of easily understandable information is available to explain each part.

Visit Medicare to search for the right and suitable plan for your at home COVID test and get yourself ready for any contingency of COVID in the future.

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