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I heard someone say if you got a PCR test at CVS pre-cruise it was free. When i tried to schedule mine and noted i don't have any symptoms it is showing i have to pay roughly $129. Does anyone know if CVS still gives free tests and if so how to schedule?

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Walgreens is also free and drive-thru if that's an option for you.

In my area at least, you have to actually see a medical professional at CVS for a rapid test now in their "Minute Clinic" but that may be different elsewhere. I've planned on using Walgreens all along so not 100% on CVS.

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Hi OCSC Mike, I hope you can shed some light on the Walgreens test, we will be in the Orlando area 3 days pre cruise from upstate New York. What I need to know is the Walgreens NAAT test free,  make an appt. drive & no cost, or do you have to submit it to your insurance to be reimbursed? We're trying to decide between that or the emed 6 kits for $125, I read on the Walgreens site something about $129 per person. Thanks.

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3 hours ago, Louieond said:

Hi OCSC Mike, I hope you can shed some light on the Walgreens test, we will be in the Orlando area 3 days pre cruise from upstate New York. What I need to know is the Walgreens NAAT test free,  make an appt. drive & no cost, or do you have to submit it to your insurance to be reimbursed? We're trying to decide between that or the emed 6 kits for $125, I read on the Walgreens site something about $129 per person. Thanks.

Do a mock booking of a test at Walgreens so you can understand exactly what they are booking and if there are any associated costs.  I scheduled a test for a friend (computer illiterate) and it did not ask for insurance info from her, nor did they ask for it when she got to Walgreens.  So in her case it appears to have been a free test.

CVS used to be free-you could select for travel-and that has changed in the past month or so to cost about $129 per person if you do not answer their pre registration survey "correctly".  You can experience that yourself if you do the mock booking and answer no to all of their questions, it will be a screen that says you will be expected to pay $129 (or thereabout).  If you redo their testing survey and I believe the first question is "unable to maintain social distance" or something of the sort-which really who can if you go out anywhere shopping, work etc-and answer that question as yes you will not get the screen telling you about a $ amount to pay. 


Now keep in mind that not all Walgreens offer the NAAT (rapid PCR if you will) or PCR and if that is what you are looking for you need to do that mock booking to find a location that offers it. The same can be said for CVS.  One last thing, the testing offered at any location can change from week to week.

  I was registered at a CVS  community testing site that used to only give PCR tests, and when I went to do another booking they had changed to only offering rapid (antigen) tests.  (I ended up cancelling my tests and decided to go with the at home test kits-so I had no more worries about CVS changing whatever they offer)-if I had a Walgreens near me that offered what I needed I might have considered trying them.

One last thing, one of the regular cruisers here who uses CVS had reported that his testing now includes a minute clinic visit for his test, so no more driving up, swabbing and calling it a day.  My insurance is not the best, so I wouldn't have risked even trying that to see if it was free (which I am told it is). I'm also sick of seeing explanation of benefits for $300 going to some of these outfits that offer "free" covid tests, at least if I don't have to present my insurance card I don't have to see that it's happening.

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11 hours ago, Louieond said:

Hi OCSC Mike, I hope you can shed some light on the Walgreens test, we will be in the Orlando area 3 days pre cruise from upstate New York. What I need to know is the Walgreens NAAT test free,  make an appt. drive & no cost, or do you have to submit it to your insurance to be reimbursed? We're trying to decide between that or the emed 6 kits for $125, I read on the Walgreens site something about $129 per person. Thanks.

Free, make appt, drive up, take test, get e-mail, hopefully test negative, enjoy cruise!

By all means, call Walgreens to verify, I won't actually be taking my first test there until next Friday 5/27 but I have spoken/read about this for dozens and dozens of people.

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On 5/12/2022 at 7:03 PM, Tret said:

I heard someone say if you got a PCR test at CVS pre-cruise it was free. When i tried to schedule mine and noted i don't have any symptoms it is showing i have to pay roughly $129. Does anyone know if CVS still gives free tests and if so how to schedule?

As @Pooch said...It's all in how you answer the questions.  One cruise we must of answered one of the questions wrong and they wanted to charge us.  Closed that booking appointment and tried again...No charge.   Drove up to our local Walgreens window at our appointment time...They gave me the swab and watched me swab each nostril five times.  Put it back in the container and got my negative results in 22 minutes.  We had used CVS previously for another cruise but stopped when they went to their minute clinic option.  

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