You may not have to throw out your expired at-home COVID-19 test as many of the dates have been moved past their printed expiration dates.
The printed expiration dates were determined by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved shelf-life of about four to six months, but further data shows that they may continue to be accurate for months longer.
Among the at-home COVID-19 tests with extended shelf lives are brands such as Abbot BinaxNow, iHealth Rapid Antigen Test, CareStart by Access Bio.
Multiple rounds of at-home tests were mailed out to U.S. residents for free, typically from iHealth, which are now extended to a 15-month shelf-life. Residents who have not ordered their free rounds of COVID-19 at-home tests can still do so through the United States Postal Service.
The extended shelf lives vary, with some extending up to 24 months, such as the Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen home test, Celltrion DiaTrust at-home test and Siemens CLINITEST rapid test.
The FDA said it will continue to update the expiration dates of at-home rapid tests, but the current status of all tests can be found on the FDA website.
Both California and Los Angeles COVID-19 state of emergency declarations expired on March 31. Despite the end of the emergency regulations, health insurance providers are still required to pay for up to eight over-the-counter COVID-19 tests per month.
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