CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Federal Government’s Covid Public Health Emergency will end on May 11th and that means some changes are on the way.

After three years of free home Covid-19 tests, Americans will have to start paying for those tests out of their own pockets. When the Public Health Emergency ends, the biggest change will be that the days of free and easily accessible Covid-19 tests will come to an end.

At this time, everyone with private insurance can get up to eight tests a month. Private insurance may not cover the full price of over-the-counter tests anymore, and patients may need a prescription first for a PCR test.

The end of this program has people concerned here in the valley, some believe that losing this resource may cause an uptick in cases.

Kimberly Strother of Springfield said, “A lot of people in the city of Springfield can’t afford to pay for the tests and it’s actually going to cause us some health emergencies if people are sick and they are going out into the public and don’t know that they are sick.”

Vaccines will still be free to people with private insurance, though the cost will likely be reflected in premiums. Even with insurance, patients will likely see costs if they go to an out-of-network provider.

People hope that the program gets extended, but there is still a lot that can happen between now and May.