Positive and negative antigen rapid covid tests results on white background

How Much Do Rapid Covid Tests Usually Cost?

Do you and your family need to test for the coronavirus? Worried about the expense? Here’s how much rapid COVID-19 tests are and how to use them.

April 07, 2022

If you’ve landed on this page, chances are high that you’re interested in buying a rapid COVID-19 test. Whether you’re feeling sick with the tell-tale symptoms or you need a test before you travel, you need an at-home testing kit and to know how much it will cost.

Fortunately, many at-home tests that have been approved by the FDA are readily available. And, if you’re worried about exorbitant medical costs, don’t be; we’ve got all the answers on how much rapid COVID-19 tests are right here.

Disclaimer: This article isn’t intended as professional medical advice. To address individual health concerns, please consult your doctor.

Where can I buy a rapid COVID-19 test?

1. Pharmacies

Pharmacies are the most accessible option, depending on supply. Stock may dip during a COVID-19 case surge. 

If you suspect that you’re sick with COVID-19, avoid visiting the pharmacy in person. You may put other people at risk of exposure. We recommend stocking up on tests pre-emptively in case of an emergency. 

2. Medical facilities

Doctor’s offices, healthcare facilities, and testing sites can carry rapid tests. But we recommend visiting these sites with discretion. Many people visiting a testing site may already have COVID-19, which puts you at risk of exposure if your own symptoms turn out to be COVID-negative. 

Onsite testing produces very accurate results. But the results can take longer to reach you because of overwhelming demand, so if you need rapid results, look elsewhere. 

3. Order online

This is one of the easiest and safest methods of obtaining a rapid test. If you live in a region where same-day deliveries are the norm, you can receive COVID-19 testing with fast results. 

Gopuff sells FDA-authorized at-home test kits that we can deliver to your home if you know you’ve been exposed or are already in isolation.


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How much do COVID-19 tests usually cost?

The cost of a COVID-19 test depends on three factors:

  • Your risk level or your level of need

  • Your insurance options

  • Where you purchase your test from

Free tests are available for some lower-income people. You can order free tests from covidtests.gov, which allocates two orders of four trials per residence. This option works great for small families on a budget, but it doesn’t solve your problems if you have a large family or need to test more than once.

COVID-19 tests may be provided free of charge through your workplace, especially if regular testing is mandatory. If you work with vulnerable populations, like in a long-term care facility or a hospital, your patients are more susceptible to the virus, and regular testing protects them. 

As of January 15, 2022, private health insurance companies must cover the cost of eight COVID-19 tests per residence, making the first eight free. If those tests are acquired outside your health network, you’ll be reimbursed $12 per test until you reach eight. 

Outside of your health network, the retail cost of a COVID-19 test averages between $20 and $30. Outliers like the Cue Health COVID-19 Test Kit are more expensive. The price will fluctuate depending on the type of test you’ve purchased — antigen or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) — and how many applicators are in the box. 

Buying your rapid COVID-19 test as part of a cough, cold, and flu assistance package may raise the out-of-pocket costs, too.

4 of the best at-home COVID tests you can buy

Want same-day COVID testing? Check out some of the best at-home COVID-19 testing kits you can buy over the counter. 

1. Carestart COVID-19 Antigen Home Test

If you’re wondering what an antigen test is, this option would be a great example. Carestart’s COVID-19 diagnostic test has two applicators, and you collect samples with a nasal swab. This test is authorized for sale under the FDA’s emergency use authorization (EUA), and it gives you results in 10 minutes.

A benefit to this coronavirus test is that your healthcare provider can cover some or all of it, significantly dropping the price. Check with the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services to browse your plan’s benefits. 

Shop now: Carestart COVID-19 Antigen Home Test


Image pulled from Gopuff product page

2. On/Go COVID-19 Antigen Rapid 10-Minute Self-Test Kit

On/Go is another fast-and-easy option for keeping Americans’ personal and public health plans in order. Using an app, a nasal swab, and an applicator kit, you can receive your test results within 10 minutes. On/Go can detect all variants of SARS-CoV-2, including omicron. 

Some or all of the test’s cost can be reimbursed through your insurance. 

Shop now: On/Go COVID-19 Antigen Rapid 10-Minute Self-Test Kit


Image pulled from Gopuff product page

3. Quidel QuickVue At-Home OTC COVID-19 Test

Quidel’s rapid antigen test comes with two applicators and a nasal swab. This test will provide your results in 10 minutes or less. It accurately measures positive cases at 83.5% and negative test results at a rate of 99.2%. Some external factors can affect the accuracy, like how clean you keep your testing area (you could accidentally contaminate your own sample).

You have the costs of this test reimbursed through your insurance. 

Shop now: Quidel QuickVue At-Home OTC COVID-19 Test


Image pulled from Gopuff product page

4. BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test

BinaxNOW’s antigen test has EUA from the FDA. It doesn't meet testing requirements for international travel, but it can help with rapid testing in a pinch. 

Each kit comes with two applicators and can give you results within 15 minutes. Once again, contact your insurance provider about partial or full reimbursement. 

Shop now: BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test


Image pulled from Gopuff product page

FAQs about at-home COVID tests

When should I be tested for COVID-19?

  • If you’re displaying symptoms of COVID-19.

  • If you work with a vulnerable population and need regular testing to prevent an outbreak.

  • If you plan to travel or attend an event where contact with other people is unavoidable.

  • If you’ve come into close contact with a person who has a confirmed case. According to the CDC guidelines, close contact is defined as being within six feet for 15 minutes or more. 

Should I take a test if I’ve had the COVID-19 vaccine?

  • If you’re displaying symptoms or have had direct exposure, yes. You’re more likely to be asymptomatic if you’ve been vaccinated, but you can still transmit the virus. 

Can at-home COVID tests detect the omicron variant?

What should I do if my test yields a positive result?

  • Follow the guidelines set out by the CDC: Stay in isolation for five days or longer until symptoms ease. If symptoms don’t ease after 10 days, further medical intervention may be required.

  • When your COVID-positive status is confirmed, inform those you came into close contact with so they can take precautionary measures.

  • Ensure you have enough supplies on hand to help alleviate symptoms during your recovery. Cold and flu medication and certain pain relievers may be of some assistance.

  • Even if your symptoms are mild, resist the urge to go outside and interact with others. Keep yourself entertained with books, online apps, and online board games if you’re feeling antsy. 

Need to purchase an at-home COVID test or healthcare supplies while being responsible and staying home? Browse Gopuff’s online aisles and have your items delivered safely to your home.

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