Some COVID-19 at-home test kits will cost more – if you can find them.
Walmart, Kroger and Amazon had been selling over-the-counter tests “at cost” with a discount of up to 35% from retail prices for the last three months as part of a deal with the Biden administration.
Walmart said in a statement to USA TODAY that the program ended in mid-December, but that it held the price of the Abbott BinaxNOW kits at $14 through the holidays. The price increased to $19.88 on Tuesday for the two-test kits.
At Kroger, the price of the two-test BinaxNOW antigen kits is now $23.99.
“We fulfilled our commitment to the Biden Administration to sell at cost for 100 days and that pricing program has now phased out and retail pricing has been reinstated,” Kroger said in a statement to USA TODAY.
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Amazon didn’t have BinaxNOW tests for sale Tuesday and did not immediately respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment.
The Biden administration has been working to make at-home tests more accessible and said Americans will be able to have free at-home tests mailed to their homes starting this month.
Retailers including Walgreens, CVS and Amazon have been limiting the number of testing kits consumers can purchase due to increased demand spurred by the spread of omicron.
Amazon shoppers can buy no more than 10 of its branded at-home testing kits, while CVS is restricting buyers to six over-the-counter testing kits. Walgreens limits shoppers to four over-the-counter antigen tests at its pharmacies.
Walmart told USA TODAY that it has a limit of eight BinaxNow testing kids for online orders but has not placed limits nationally for in-store purchases. Stores, however, may set their own limits based on inventory.
“We have seen significant demand for at home Covid-19 testing kits and are working closely with our suppliers to meet this demand and get the needed product to our customers,” Walmart said in its statement.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Abbott said it is running plants around the clock, seven days a week to pump out 70 million tests a month.
“Despite rising U.S. material and labor costs, we have not passed along any of these costs to our customers and the price at retail has not changed since we launched the test,” Abbott told the Journal.
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Contributing: Ken Alltucker, Brett Molina and Bailey Schulz, USA TODAY; Associated Press
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