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  • There are 11 tests for the novel coronavirus that you can take at home.
  • They work by collecting samples from the nose or mouth. Then, they’re shipped to laboratories, where a process called “nucleic acid amplification” finds the virus’ genetic material.
  • The hope of at-home testing is to get tests in the hands of people who might otherwise struggle to find tests; rural areas and ZIP codes with more people of color tend to have less testing sites per capita.
  • They cost anywhere from $0 to $150, and some of the companies accept funds from health savings accounts.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Among the hundreds of tests out there for the novel coronavirus, just a handful have received emergency authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration to ship them to people’s homes.

With at-home tests, people self-collect their samples and send them back to the testing company for analysis. Many of the companies have their own labs and tests, or partner with other groups to run the samples, according to the FDA and Business Insider’s reporting.

Over the past few months states have started reopening and testing supplies have increased. Even so, coronavirus tests may still be hard to find for many, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There’s fewer testing sites in areas that are at least 75% people of color, and nearly two-thirds of rural counties have none at all, according to reporting by Axios and analysis by the nonprofit Surgo Foundation.

At-home testing could make getting checked for coronavirus more accessible for those groups. They’re also useful for people who feel sick and don’t want to infect others, or are similarly afraid of getting infected by visiting a testing site or clinic.

People seem to be taking these companies up on their at-home options. Testing company Everlywell has shipped nearly 75,000 coronavirus tests since March, according to a spokesperson. Fulgent Genetics, another testing group, said it’s processing thousands of the tests per day.

The at-home tests are similar in their sensitivity, or ability to detect coronavirus-positive samples, and specificity, or their ability to detect coronavirus-negative samples. To get tested, customers usually fill out some kind of questionnaire, get the testing kit, and ship it back for results.

The price of the tests can range, with some tests costing as much as $150. Under the CARES Act, insurers have to provide coronavirus testing at no cost to members, but many of them are not doing so, healthcare executives told BI.

Here are the 11 emergency authorized coronavirus tests you can get at home.

This article was originally published on June 26, and has been updated to add more tests.


A technician scans test tubes containing live samples in the Laboratoty for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Robert Ballanger hospital in Aulnay-sous-Bois near Paris during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in France, April 30, 2020.

REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Official name: COVID-19 RT-PCR Test

Who makes the test: LabCorp makes the collection kit, and the test was developed in-house using devices and equipment from Roche, Thermo Fisher, and Integrated DNA Technologies, depending on how it’s run, according to the FDA and a LabCorp spokesperson. Tests are carried out at the company’s facilities.

How it works: After a survey, LabCorp can file the cost of the test to people’s insurance, or possibly cover it with federal funds, depending on eligibility, a spokesperson told BI. Then, the company sends a collection kit that includes a swab that’s inserted into their noses to get samples, known as a nasal swab. The collection kits are sent via FedEx, and results are posted online.

Accuracy: The test correctly identified 100% of 40 positive samples and 50 negative samples in an analysis posted with the FDA. Those results used nasopharyngeal swabs, compared to the nasal swab used in the at-home kit.

Price: $0 upfront, according to the company.

You can get one here.

Rutgers University

A medical worker administers a test for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at United Memorial Medical Center amid the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Houston, Texas, U.S., June 23, 2020.

REUTERS/Callaghan O’Hare

The device’s official name: Rutgers Clinical Genomics Laboratory TaqPath SARS-CoV-2-Assay

Who makes the test: The test was developed by a wing of Rutgers’ genetics institute in partnership with testing companies Spectrum Solutions and Accurate Diagnostics, according to Rutgers. It uses a collection device made by Spectrum, and samples go to the Rutgers Clinical Genomics Laboratory in Piscataway, New Jersey, according to the FDA. The test requires parts from healthcare giants PerkinElmer and Thermo Fisher Scientific.

How it works: When purchased from testing startup Vault Health, the doctor-ordered kits are sent to people’s homes. Over Zoom, healthcare professionals supervise customers, who give the kits samples of their saliva. Results are posted within days after samples arrive at the lab.

Other distributors, including testing companies ixLayer and Vitagene, also sell the test, according to Rutgers.

Accuracy: The Rutgers test identified 100% of 60 positive and negative coronavirus samples when using swabs of saliva, according to data provided to BI by Rutgers.

Price: $150 via Vault and $129 via Vitagene, though both allow you to pay via a health savings account or a flexible savings account.

You can get one from Vault Health here and from Vitagene here.


Everlywell COVID 19


Official name: Everlywell COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit

Who makes the test: Everlywell produces the kits that customers use to take samples, as well as the platform that, among other things, displays the results, a spokesperson told BI. The kits are analyzed by labs like Fulgent Genetics and Assurance Scientific, which use different diagnostic tests, according to the FDA.

How it works: Depending on the shipping method, customers get their testing kits overnight or within 3 days. They go through a screening process, self-collect a nasal swab, and return the package to a drop-off location, according to Everlywell. The labs process them within 2 days.

Accuracy: Both tests by Fulgent and Assurance correctly identified 100% of coronavirus samples as positive or negative in the clinical evaluations they shared with the FDA.

Price: $109, which can usually be paid for using money in HSAs and FSAs, the spokesperson said. Everlywell also provides customers with the information they need to file claims with insurers.

You can get one here.

Fulgent Therapeutics

Fulgent's test kit for coronavirus.

Fulgent Genetics

Official name: Fulgent COVID-19 by RT-PCR Test

Who makes the test: Fulgent Genetics, the parent company of Fulgent Therapeutics, makes the test and collection kit. It’s also permitted to use another kit made by Everlywell. All samples are analyzed at Fulgent’s laboratory in Temple City, California.

How it works: Once folks complete an online screening, Fulgent’s Picture Genetics mails them a kit. They ship back their nasal swabs in a pre-labeled box. Customers can see their results online and discuss them, if desired, with a medical professional virtually.

Accuracy: Fulgent’s test found 100% of negative and positive coronavirus samples taken with a variety of swabs, according to a company study on 94 specimens.

Price: $119, with the option to file for reimbursement with health plans

You can get one here.

P23 Labs

A medical worker in a protective suit conducts a nucleic acid test for a resident, following a new outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Beijing

REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

Official name: P23 Labs TaqPath SARS-CoV-2 Assay

Who makes the test: P23’s test uses parts from Thermo Fisher Scientific and works with collection kits made by testing companies Everlywell and OraSure Technologies, according to the FDA and a P23 spokesperson. Samples are tested in its lab in Little Rock, Arkansas.

How it works: Once a clinician orders the test, it’s shipped to people’s homes. They take samples of their saliva with help from a healthcare worker online. The lab posts people’s results to a website. It’s sold by a handful of companies, including digital health group Azova, the spokesperson told BI.

Accuracy: The tests are 98% sensitive and 99% specific, according to the company.

Price: Between $109 and $129, depending on the kit and seller, the spokesperson said.

You can get one here.

This slide has been updated to remove ADx Healthcare as a company P23 works with.

PrivaPath Diagnostics



Official name: LetsGetChecked Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test

Who makes the test: PrivaPath, doing business as LetsGetChecked, makes the collection kit, but uses the molecular test made by Hologic, according to an FDA document and a spokesperson for the company. They’re performed in PrivaPath labs.

How it works: People fill out an online questionnaire, and doctors approve their requests. Testing packages include return labels, bags, nasal swabs, and a transport tube, according to the FDA. Once the lab gets the test, the company says that results are posted online within 24 hours. Throughout, users can track their symptoms with a mobile app.

Accuracy: Hologic’s test found 69 out of 69 positive samples and 109 out of 109 negative samples, according to the company’s analysis on nasopharyngeal swabs.

Price: $119, though folks can file claims for reimbursement with their health plans, and LetsGetChecked is offering a 20% discount.

You can get one here.

Phosphorus Diagnostics

People receive nucleic acid tests, during a government-organised visit to a testing site, following a new outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Beijing

REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Official name: Phosphorus COVID-19 RT-qPCR Test

Who makes the test: Phosphorus uses a kit made by OraSure Technologies to collect samples from customers, according to a spokesperson for the company; they’re run in a Phosphorus lab in Secaucus, New Jersey, with tests made in-house.

How it works: People can order the tests online after completing a questionnaire, which is reviewed by a doctor within 24 hours, the spokesperson said. Tests are shipped after approval and work via saliva samples. Physicians can chat about people’s results with telemedicine.

Accuracy: 97.1% sensitive and 98.2% specific, according to the company

Price: $140, though people can seek reimbursement from their health plans

You can get one here.


Kroger Health COVID 19 Test Home Collection Kit_Front


Official name: Kroger Health COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit

Who makes the test: Kroger produces the collection kit, which includes mailing instructions, labels, and nasal swabs; the tests used to analyze the samples will depend on the labs Kroger and the FDA designate. Kroger said it’s working with Gravity Diagnostics, however, to ramp up the at-home service, and Gravity, a lab, makes a test in-house.

How it works: Once approved by a healthcare provider and people’s employers, customers can order Kroger’s kit online after answering some questions via an online form, the FDA said. From home, they self-collect a nasal swab with guidance from providers over Zoom, according to Kroger. Results are posted in an online portal.

Accuracy: Using nasopharyngeal swabs, Gravity’s test found 30 out 30 coronavirus-positive samples and 60 out of 60 coronavirus-negative samples, an FDA filing shows. Kroger also set up a study measuring people’s ability to use the at-home kits, where 35 out of 37 participants completed each step in the process, it told the FDA.

Price: Kroger said the kit can be free when arranged by contracted employers.

How to order: Once people receive codes from their employers, they can request tests here. They’re not yet available in several states, though.

Ethos Laboratories

Coronavirus test Germany Poland border

Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images

Official name: Ethos Laboratories SARS-CoV-2 MALDI-TOF Assay

Who makes the test: Ethos, a lab based in Newport, Kentucky, makes the collection kit. It uses devices and materials from test-maker Agena Biosciences and several other companies to perform the tests in its lab, according to the FDA.

How it works: People can obtain a test by filling out Ethos’ online survey. Once approved by providers, patients are sent prescribed kits in the mail. They work with nasal swabs and get sent back to Ethos via UPS.

Accuracy: In a study, Ethos’ kit found 52 out of 53 coronavirus-positive samples, and 52 out of 54 coronavirus-negative samples, all taken with nasopharyngeal swabs, an FDA filing shows. In another study looking at their stability during transport, the results tended not to change.

Price: Unspecified, though Ethos says the tests can be covered by insurance.

You can get one here.

Quest Diagnostics

Quest Self collection kit

Quest Diagnostics

The device’s official name: Quest SARS-CoV-2 rRT-PCR

Who makes the test: Quest produces all the testing components, including the collection kit, and runs samples at Quest laboratories, according to the FDA.

How it works: People can order coronavirus tests from Quest’s website. Once approved by a Quest physician, they’re shipped to people’s homes. From there, you have the option to use the kit at home and send it back through the mail, or take it to more than 500 Walmart drive-thru locations, where a clinician supervises the collection process. Other Quest workers will deliver your sample to a lab.

Accuracy: Quest’s test identified all 60 positive and negative coronavirus samples in a study using a mix of swab-types, an FDA filing shows. In another study mimicking the at-home testing environment — where patients self-collected their own samples — 95% of 47 participants followed the instructions.

Price: $119 not counting a physician fee.

You can get one here.

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