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If you experience symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, testing can help you know when you should isolate yourself from others or seek treatment.
Low or no-cost COVID-19 tests are available to everyone in the U.S. at health centers and select pharmacies across the nation. Free testing is even available for individuals without health insurance.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service has an online tool that makes it easy to find testing sites. Simply enter your state and the tool displays a list of participating health centers and retail pharmacies near you.
The tool can also direct you to a local community health center for testing. Simply type in your zip code for results.
Home tests are another option. Most at-home tests are antigen tests. They look for proteins that help make up coronavirus. Much like home pregnancy tests, they let you know right away if you are “positive” or “negative.” A positive result means you may be carrying the virus. This is the type of at-home test you’re most likely to find at your local drug store, pharmacy and other retailers.
Of course, your primary care provider may offer COVID-19 testing, too. Check to see if they do.
A lot of effort has gone into ensuring testing is available and affordable. One of the benefits of having health insurance is being able to rely on the doctors, labs, facilities and drug stores in your health plan’s network to have easy access to testing. Take a few minutes to make sure a testing site, pharmacy or care provider is in network. It’s the best way to know that all the costs of your test will be covered.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois members can call Customer Service at the number listed on your member ID card for help finding an in-network pharmacy or testing site near you.
For other resources and information about COVID-19 and you, visit our COVID-19 website.
Originally published 11/30/2020; Revised 2022
CDC recommends checking your state site: https://www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/healthdepartments.html
Walgreens is a good choice too.
CDC has a vaccine finder that is pretty good.
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