How to get your free at-home COVID-19 test kits

Here's the rundown on online ordering, retail shopping, and reimbursements

Closeup of a woman at home reading instructions for COVID-19 rapid antigen self-testing kits


As you may already be aware, the federal government recently launched a simple way for each household to obtain free over-the-counter, or OTC, home COVID-19 test kits. The process takes less than one minute: Go to, select Order Free Tests at Home, and enter your name and address.

Additionally, effective Jan. 15, JHU is covering the cost of over-the-counter COVID-19 at-home test kits for employees and their families enrolled in a JHU health plan (specifically, CareFirst, EHP, and Kaiser Permanente).

Key details

There is a maximum limit of eight OTC tests per plan member (or each covered family member) per 30 days. Each test is counted separately; therefore, if kits contain two tests, then no more than four kits are covered per 30 days.

If you purchased an over-the-counter test and request reimbursement, note that there is a $12 limit per test.

The plan covers only tests intended for diagnosis or treatment (versus routine screenings for employment, school, or recreational purposes).

You do not need a clinical assessment by a health care provider to obtain the OTC test kits.

If you have a doctor's order for a COVID-19 test, the plan will continue to cover the doctor's ordered test even if you have exceeded the eight- test OTC test kit limit.

CareFirst and EHP Plans

Test kits are available through our pharmacy benefits manager, Express Scripts Inc., or ESI. You may obtain the test kits with no cost share from any in-network ESI retail pharmacy by showing your ESI member ID card at the pharmacy. If you purchased an OTC test kit and paid out-of-pocket, you may submit a reimbursement claim form and a copy of your receipt to ESI.

You also can order test kits directly from Express Scripts by logging on to

Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente will reimburse members for Federal Drug Administration–approved rapid antigen home tests. To get reimbursed for self-tests purchased on or after Jan. 15, 2022, members should go to Coverage & Costs on, sign into their account, and select "Submit a Medical Claim."

For questions regarding OTC test kit coverage, contact Express Scripts or Kaiser Permanente.

Possible changes

The above details of how free over-the-counter COVID-19 tests will be processed under JHU's health plans may change as additional information is obtained and requirements are clarified. JHU will continue to monitor any changes. Visit the Benefits & Worklife website frequently for updates. In the case of a discrepancy between this summary and the official Plan Document(s), the Plan Document(s) will take precedence.