Free at home COVID tests and booster shots available

(Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP)
Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 12:49 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is reminding residents that at-home tests and boosters are still available with no out-of-pocket cost.

The updated COVID booster shot is now available in Wisconsin and vaccination appointments can be made at pharmacies, health centers, and clinics. Vaccination sites can be found by going to the CDC’s vaccination website.

“As we head into cold and flu season, we encourage everyone to protect themselves and their families from COVID-19 by staying up-to-date on vaccinations,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake.

The DHS has a program that allows each Wisconsin household to get five free at-home COVID tests delivered to their door. Go to the Say Yes! COVID Test website to enroll in this program.

If purchasing tests in store, all health plans are required to cover the cost. Insurance Commissioner Nathan Houdek advised, “If you buy an at-home test outside your insurance company’s pharmacy network, keep the receipt and your insurer should reimburse the cost in part or in full.”

Experts explain why expired at-home COVID tests are still usable

If you think any package of COVID-19 tests you have at home may be expired, check before you throw it out. The FDA has extended the expiration dates for many of the COVID-19 self-tests that are widely available at stores and pharmacies, including tests by iHealth which were commonly shipped by the federal government’s program and are now shipping out through the Wisconsin Say Yes! COVID Test program. To check if a package of COVID-19 tests has an extended expiration date, people can find more information on all the FDA-authorized brands(link is external), as well as specific information on iHealth brand tests that includes a tool to search your package’s expiration(link is external). Many of these COVID-19 tests were initially authorized with expiration dates that have been extended as the manufacturers study data to ensure the tests are still accurate.