Starting November 20, every U.S. household can again place an order to receive four more free COVID-19 rapid tests delivered directly to their home. Visit covid.gov/tests.
If you have health insurance, the best option is to contact your doctor or health plan to get tested. Doctors and health plans are responsible for providing free COVID-19 testing to patients assigned to them. See more below.
If your employer or school requires a test, go through your workplace or school to get tested. They may offer free tests.
If you do not have health insurance, don’t worry. There are many ways to get free tests in LA County.
Many pharmacies offer free COVID-19 tests. Visit their website or call to check if they require an appointment or charge fees. For information on independent pharmacies, visit doineedacovid19test.com.
MEDICARE COVID-19 TEST KIT FRAUD
Scammers may steal people’s Medicare information, send them COVID-19 test kits and then bill Medicare. If you received a COVID-19 test kit that you did not order, do not use it and file a report right away. Scammers may also bill Medicare without sending any kits. If you suspect that Medicare is being charged for an item or service you didn’t get, or your Medicare card or number is stolen, report it. Call 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477) or visit oig.hhs.gov/fraud/report-fraud.
For more information, view the CMS Waivers, Flexibilities, and the End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency FAQs.
If you have insurance, your health insurer is required to cover the entire cost of testing if a doctor orders the test. You do not need to have symptoms to request a test.
Insurance companies may not cover COVID-19 testing if done as part of an employee return-to-work program. If your employer requires a test, go through your job.
If your child has symptoms, it is best to get a test from their doctor or local health center. If you need help finding a doctor, call 2-1-1 or visit 211LA. You can also find a health center near you at HRSA.gov.
Many County-sponsored sites test children of any age. But check before you go.
The age limit for testing children at different pharmacies vary. Check with your preferred pharmacy:
If you plan to use an antigen test, check the box for the age limit.
There are different types of COVID-19 tests.
Viral tests are swab or saliva tests that look for current infection. The main types are antigen tests and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.
Antibody tests are blood tests that look for past infection. They are not used to diagnose a current COVID-19 infection. See CDC antibody tests.
For more information, see CDC COVID-19 Testing: What You Need to Know.
If you have new cough, cold, or COVID-19 symptoms, you should test immediately.* If you test negative, it is recommended that you test again 48 hours later. Make sure you follow all the guidelines for individuals who are sick with cough, cold, or COVID-19 symptoms.
If you do not have symptoms but have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should test* 3-5 days after your last exposure. This is especially important if you are at higher risk of severe disease and would benefit from treatment, or you have contact with people who are at higher risk for severe COVID-19 infection. Follow all steps for close contacts.
*If you tested positive in the last 90 days, antigen testing is preferred. Some tests, especially PCR tests, may stay positive for up to 90 days (antigen tests may be positive for up to 30 days). It is also possible to get reinfected within 90 days. This can make it hard to know what a positive test means in the first few months after an infection.
See CDC COVID-19 Testing: What You Need to Know for more information on when to test, choosing a test, and interpreting your test results.
For more information on home test kits, visit the CDC self-testing website.