Pharmacy & Healthcare

At-home COVID-19 tests: Your questions answered

From expiration date confusion to testing for new variants, Walgreens has the newest information on over-the-counter COVID tests. 
Elyse Russo, Walgreens Stories
While so much has changed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing has remained the same: Walgreens continues to be a trusted community resource for COVID expertise, vaccines and testing. And when it comes to at-home COVID testing, Walgreens always has you covered.

“There are so many ways to get over-the-counter COVID tests,” says Nate Reilly, Walgreens senior category manager for diabetes and health testing. He describes just a few easy ways to get a test from Walgreens:At-home COVID tests continue to be a key tool in the global pandemic fight, and Reilly tackles some of the latest questions that have come up about tests including how to get them at no cost, expiration dates and if they work on new virus variants.

Which at-home COVID-19 tests are available to purchase at Walgreens?

Walgreens has carried a variety of brands of over-the-counter COVID-19 tests since they first became available. The tests currently sold by Walgreens include our owned brand Walgreens At-Home COVID-19 Test Kit (2 tests for $23.99), Abbott's BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Self Test (2 tests for $23.99) and ACON Labs’ Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Home Test (1 test for $9.99) and Genabio COVID-19 Rapid Self-Test Kit (2 tests for $23.99). Additionally, Walgreens just started selling the FaStep® COVID-19 Antigen Pen Home Test, which features an innovative test design with the same cost and reliability of other at-home COVID tests.

If you’re not sure which test to get—whether it’s a test to take at home, or a PCR or Rapid NAAT test at a Walgreens store—ask your local Walgreens pharmacist. They have been trained on all the testing options.

“We are here to help our customers navigate what options are best for them and their families,” says Justin Coyle, PharmD, senior director of pharmacy and retail development operations.

Reilly also recommends checking out the “Which COVID-19 test is right for you” interactive tool on This tool can help you decide what test best fits your needs, whether you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or just want peace of mind before a large gathering.

Can I get at-home COVID tests for free from Walgreens?

It depends. The federal government no longer requires insurance companies and health plans to cover the cost of at-home COVID tests, but some still do. It’s best to contact your plan for details.
Reilly says you can go to to order your tests for pickup from Walgreens. By going through this process, Walgreens will submit a claim to your insurance on your behalf. Or you can bring your insurance information to your local pharmacist for assistance.

Are the expiration dates accurate on at-home COVID-19 tests? How can I be sure?

The Food and Drug Administration extended the expiration dates of some at-home COVID tests. This came after test manufacturers provided data to the FDA that proved the tests were lasting longer than previously thought. As a result, some manufacturers started placing new expiration stickers over old expiration dates.

“Walgreens has not stickered over any expiration dates,” Reilly says. “We don’t want to confuse our customers.”

So when you get an at-home COVID test at Walgreens, the expiration date on the box is what it is.

Can at-home COVID tests detect new variants?

Virus mutation is normal, so that's why it seems like there’s a new COVID variant in the headlines every day. So, can over-the-counter tests keep up with this ever-evolving virus?

“Honestly, we continue to ask that same question,” Reilly says candidly. “The good news is that Walgreens is in constant contact with test manufacturers, making sure their products work on the latest variants out there.”

For the latest information on variants and state-by-state COVID activity, check out the Walgreens COVID Index.

Can at-home COVID tests be used to determine if I receive treatment?

Yes. Since at-home COVID tests provide rapid results, Coyle says this helps reduce the time in starting treatment.

“This is really important for those with high-risk health conditions since the sooner treatment begins, the better the outcomes,” Coyle says.

Walgreens pharmacies stock oral antivirals and can help you get in contact with your prescriber or connect you with one of our clinic partners to obtain a prescription.

Walgreens offers a range of test types to fit your needs. Visit for the latest testing information.