(Update) A Convenient & Low-Stress Way To Fulfill The US Reentry Covid Test

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How To Take A BinaxNow COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test

How To Take A BinaxNow COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test For US Reentry

If you’re like me you’re excited to travel internationally again. You research what’s needed to enter your destination and for reentering the US. That’s where you find out that for almost everyone, a three-day-old maximum Covid test is required for reentering the US, even if you’re a fully vaccinated US citizen (as of publishing this article).

You do further research and find that a rapid Covid test can be relatively expensive. It might be inconvenient based on where you’ll be located on your trip or it might not be available in more remote areas of the country, etc. Fortunately, the BinaxNow COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test might be a good solution for you.

Update 7/10/21: eMed reached out with some more info I shared below after reading the article.

This is a guest post by Tim Greer from our MtM Diamond Lounge.  He took a trip to Iceland a week or two ago and wanted to share his experience with everyone.  Thanks so much for doing this Tim!

Brief Overview Of What Is Needed & How It Works

This article is not a review but more of a sharing of my experience taking the test. There are no referral links for the product nor will the accuracy of the test be addressed.

  • You can take the test within three days at your convenience (a Saturday departure allows you to take the test as early as Wednesday).
  • A smartphone or computer with a functioning camera and internet access is the only external equipment needed.
  • Your result arrives within 20 minutes and the official result is sent to the Navica app (more on that later) as soon as 15 minutes.

This antigen test is mainly intended for reentering the US, it is not a sufficient test for entering a foreign country. You can do your research regarding entry requirements and might find a country that allows this test but I would not use this test for that purpose.

The Process

  • You need to order the kits online and receive them via FedEx
    • The ones at CVS etc. will not work
  • Download the Navica(™) app on your phone and set up an account
  • Take the video monitored test
    • Guided session
    • Preparing the test
  • Receive your result and have it download to the Navica(™) app
  • Final thoughts

Order the kits online and receive them via FedEx

I ordered the test via a United Airlines link. Multiple airlines have a partnership with Abbott. Here is the direct/nonaffiliated link from Abbott.

You answer a series of questions, I selected the answers related to ‘Returning from an international trip with the test purpose of reentering the US’. The cost was $150 USD for six tests. The kits need to be prescribed by a physician so they will not ship until an Abbott physician prescribes the kits, this happens the same day.

  • eMed clarification: The eMed digital health platform facilitates prescribing a test by a healthcare professional.

Your emailed receipt can be used for Flexible Spending Account/Health Savings Account reimbursement. Disclaimer, check with your FSA and HSA guidelines for reimbursement, I reimbursed myself via my HSA account. My kits were sent via FedEx the same day and received the next day.

How To Take A BinaxNow COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test

Download the Navica(™) app on your phone and set up an account

It’s best to perform this step before leaving your home but you certainly can do this while you’re in your international destination. The Navica app is used to provide your test results. The video interaction is performed on the eMed.com site (more on this later). 

How To Take A BinaxNow COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test

How To Take The Video Monitored Test

Now it’s time to take the video-monitored test via eMed.com. The screenshots below are based on a smartphone but you can use a laptop or desktop computer.

  • Go to eMed.com
  • Click ‘Start Test’
  • You’ll be prompted to log in to your Navica account
  • Complete the questionnaire
  • You’ll be prompted to start the ‘Guided Session’

Guided Session

An eMed employee will come online (you will not see this person but he/she will see your camera). Via your camera, eMed will have you…

  • Provide/scan the QR code from your Covid test box
  • Will view/read your ID (e.g. passport, state-issued drivers license/ID)
  • Will monitor all of your movements within the process

Preparing the test

The eMed representative will have you open various items from the box. You will…

  • Open the card and lay it on a flat surface
  • Place six drops of solution in the small hole
  • Stick the swab on the big hole and turn three times
  • Place the swab up both nostrils and turn six times
  • Place the swab inside the flap with the swab exposed to the large hole
  • Close the card

How To Take A BinaxNow COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test

Receive your result and have it download to the Navica(™) app

After closing the card, the eMed representative leaves, and a 15-minute timer starts. At this point, you can step away from your phone or computer. After the 15-minute alarm goes off, you click on a button that allows another eMed representative to appear and go over your result. My result came back within 10 minutes but 20 minutes is allowed. If you’re negative, you should only see a top red line (control). If you’re positive, you’ll see two red lines (control and sample). 

Negative

The eMed representative will send you an email and your result to the Navica app. The result from the app is the official result used to reenter the US. Immigration at the Newark Airport (EWR) did not ask for my negative Covid result but I had to show my negative result and vaccination card to four different people at Reykjavik Airport prior to receiving my boarding pass.

Final Thoughts

This is a convenient and relatively simple test to take. Depending on where you’re traveling, internationally, other tests can be more expensive, less convenient, and difficult to find.

I took the test on a laptop with an external camera which was awkward, at times, as the eMed representative has to see all of your moves during the process. A smartphone may be easier to navigate.

As stated previously, this antigen test is really meant for reentering the US. There is a possibility to use this test to enter another country but I would research entry requirements as this test probably does not meet the requirements. 

Happy international traveling and for a convenient and negative Covid test result.

Thanks again for sharing this info Tim!  I know I for one would feel way more at ease going this route vs tracking down a testing site. 

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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12 COMMENTS

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Do I need to use 1 pack or 2 packs? a little confusing some info I read says it needs another test in 36 hours.

  2. Does each person need their own phone with the Navica app, or can the app accomodate several travelers? And how would one phone / several travelers work when re-entering the US?

  3. Know it may not meet the official reentry requirements, but just wanted to provide a data point that I have traveled with others who have used the CVS kits etc without any issue. Obviously there is risk associated with that, but interested to hear more DP’s

  4. In Iceland it’s ~$55 for an in-person test in Reykjavik. That’s what I’ve seen other travelers returning from there so. I’d rather save $100 and do it this way.

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