Coronavirus: Prices of COVID-19 test kits rising at Walmart, Kroger, report says

Walmart and Kroger have raised the prices of their BinaxNOW at-home rapid COVID-19 test kits following the expiration of a deal made with the Biden administration last year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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An online search Tuesday showed Walmart selling BinaxNOW self-test kits for $19.88. Kroger listed the tests for sale for $23.99.

Previously, the retailers were selling the tests for $14, according to the Journal.

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In September, President Joe Biden said retailers including Walmart, Amazon and Kroger had agreed to sell at-home rapid COVID-19 test kits at-cost for three months. BinaxNOW COVID-19 test kits were not available Tuesday from Amazon.

Spokespeople for Walmart and Kroger told the Journal that the stores had fulfilled their commitment to sell COVID-19 tests at cost. The agreement with the White House expired in December.

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Officials have reported long lines and empty shelves for COVID-19 tests across the nation as the U.S. grapples with the arrival of the highly transmissible omicron variant. Last month, spokespeople for Amazon and Walmart told Forbes that they were limiting the number of at-home tests people were allowed to purchase amid spiking demand and supply constraints.

On Tuesday, Biden said businesses were working to restock their supplies of at-home COVID-19 tests. He added that a requirement announced last month that insurance companies reimburse people for the cost of at-home tests will go into effect next week.

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He urged people to check online for COVID-19 test sites near them to find free federal COVID-19 test sites. The president also said officials plan to launch a website next month, which will allow people to request free COVID-19 tests to be shipped to their homes.

Previously, Biden said his administration planned to purchase 500 million test kits to distribute for free to Americans.