COVID-19 Testing Guidance

COVID-19 testing

Do I have to pay for home tests?  

  • Beginning September 25, 2023, households can order four free tests through Tests are shipped through the U.S. Postal Service. These tests can detect newer COVID-19 variants and are intended to be used through December 2023.
  • Private insurance is not required to reimburse you when you purchase at-home test kits.
  • Free at-home rapid test kits are available for pickup at specified sites within New York state, while supplies last.

Do I have to pay for onsite COVID-19 testing?

  • If you have private health insurance, COVID-19 PCR and rapid tests are covered if they are ordered and administered by a health care professional when medically necessary. You may have to pay a certain amount if your health plan requires cost sharing. 
  • Insurers are permitted to limit the number of covered tests and to require testing be done only by in-network providers. 

How can I obtain a low- or no-cost COVID-19 test at an onsite location?

  • Low- or no-cost COVID-19 tests are available to New Yorkers, including those who are uninsured, at health centers and select pharmacies. Contact your health care provider or your local public health department for more information.
  • If you require assistance finding a location for free COVID-19 testing, use the testing locator provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at

COVID-19 treatment

If you have private health insurance or Medicare, you may have cost sharing associated with oral antivirals such as Paxlovid. 

However, you may be able to get oral antivirals at low or no cost from the federal government at Test to Treat sites, as long as supplies last. 

Insurance companies continue to require cost sharing for all follow-up care associated with the treatment of COVID-19, including hospitalization and outpatient visits. 

If you think you have been improperly billed for COVID-19 tests, Attorney General James encourages you to contact the Health Care Bureau of the Office of the New York State Attorney General by filing a complaint online or calling 1-800-428-9071.