The Department of Health and Human Services also announced Wednesday that it was awarding $600 million to a dozen coronavirus test manufacturers. Agency officials said the funding would improve domestic manufacturing capacity and provide the federal government with 200 million over-the-counter tests to use in the future.
The return of the free testing program comes after Americans navigated the latest uptick in covid cases with free testing no longer widely available. The largest insurance companies stopped reimbursing the costs of retail at-home testing once the requirement to do so ended with the public health emergency in May. The Biden administration stopped mailing free tests in June.