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County opens new COVID-19 testing site

MANATEE COUNTY – A new COVID-19 testing site is now available at the SUNZ insurance building, 1301 Eighth Ave. in downtown Bradenton.

The new location offers free PCR and rapid testing at a walk-up site open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Anyone wishing to be tested is asked to provide a form of government-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license or passport.

No appointments are necessary, though you can save time and pre-register by going online.

Another county-run COVID-19 test site is located at the Bradenton Area Convention Center at 1 Haben Blvd. in Palmetto, which is also open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For anyone who wants a more convenient, free COVID-19 testing option, you can submit a form to receive one set of four free at-home COVID-19 tests. The tests are available online and are limited to one order per residential address. Each order contains four individual rapid antigen tests and will begin shipping in late January.

If you’re one of the people who have managed to find a rapid COVID-19 test in stores, check with your insurance company; they might be able to provide you a refund for the cost of the tests.

Under guidance released Jan. 10 from the Biden administration, private insurers are required to begin covering the cost of up to eight FDA-authorized rapid at-home COVID-19 tests per month beginning Jan. 15.

The coverage requirement does not apply to Medicaid managed care or Medicare Advantage plans.

Reimbursement is capped at $12 per test, though some insured individuals may qualify for direct cost coverage where the in-store test would be free. Check with your insurance company to determine how to apply for reimbursement.

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