Can I test for COVID-19 at home? – The Village Doctor

Can I test for COVID-19 at home?

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A growing number of home-testing options are now available. All of the following are molecular diagnostic tests, which detect the presence of viral genetic material, indicating infection with the COVID-19.  There are only two options for children older than 4 years old, Vault Health and Picture by Fulgent Genetics. Only one, Pixel by LabCorp, will bill your insurance with no upfront payment, or the government for uninsured patients. The rest require payment, between $109 and $155, and leave you to go about reimbursement from your insurance company. They all prioritize testing for those experiencing symptoms, who may have been exposed, or are in a high risk population. Most provide instructions for easy self collection, a few require collection during video observation and coaching. Most require the sample collection to be done on the same day as return shipping, and exclude Saturday returns. Results are generally provided via online Portal, with counseling available from a healthcare provider for positive results. All claim 98% or higher sensitivity and specificity. The last 3 tests are listed for the sake of inclusion.

Pixel by LabCorp ($119 or $0 with insurance), 18+ yrs

How: self collected superficial nostril swab

Shipping: FedEx overnight each way (incl. option for FedEx return pickup from your doorstep)

Results: 24-48 hrs after receipt at lab

Vault ($150, HSA/FSA ok), 4+ yrs

How: saliva sample supervised during a Zoom video session

Shipping: overnight to patient, requires drop off for return overnight shipping to lab

Results: 48-72 hrs after receipt at lab

Picture by Fulgent Genetics ($119 ), 4+ yrs

How: nasal swab

Shipping: order before 3pm PST: FedEx 2 day (pay extra for overnight), drop off for prepaid FedEx overnight return shipping

Results: 48 hrs after receipt at lab

Everlywell ($109, HSA/FSA ok), 18+ yrs

How: superficial nostril swab

Shipping: 2-3 days (pay extra for overnight), drop off prepaid at UPS drop box

Results: 24-72 hrs after receipt at lab

LetsGet Checked ($119, HSA/FSA ok), 18+ yrs

How: superficial nostril swab

Shipping: UPS 1-2 day to patient, drop off at UPS drop box for prepaid Next Day Air

Results: 24-72 hrs after receipt at lab

Vitagene ($117, HSA/FSA ok), 18+ yrs

How: self-collected (unsupervised) saliva sample

Shipping: FedEx 1-3 days to patient, FedEx Express overnight return

Results: within 72 hrs after receipt at lab

P23 Labs ($142), 18+ yrs

How: self-collected (unsupervised) saliva sample

Shipping: 2-3 days to patient, return unspecified but pay $100 extra for overnight return

Results: within 72 hrs after receipt at lab

hims&hers ($150), 18+ yrs

How: requires online consult before kit is shipped, self-collected (unsupervised) saliva sample

Shipping: FedEx Express both ways

Results: 3-5 days after shipping to lab

Phosphorus ($140, HSA/FSA ok), 18+ yrs

How: requires online consult before kit is shipped, self-collected (unsupervised) saliva sample

Shipping: FedEx both ways (incl. option for FedEx return pickup from your doorstep), only ship Sun-Thurs

Results: within 72 hrs after receipt at lab

Sky Pittson, MD,  January 15, 2020