If you are one of the 59 million Americans with Medicare Part B and those enrolled in the Medicare Advantage plan, you may be interested in the Biden-Harris Administration’s update announcing access to over-the-counter Covid-19 home tests starting this spring at no cost.
If you have Medicare, you can now get up to 8 home tests per calendar month from any participating pharmacy or health care provider throughout the current health crisis. You can even continue ordering tests at covidtests.gov after the two sets of four free home tests.
If you have Medicare, you can get more information by contacting 1-800-MEDICARE and visiting https://www.medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus.
In addition to over-the-counter tests, it is part of a plan to deliver 250 million at-home rapid tests to send to Americans who need them. Before this update, you needed to be a Medicaid recipient, or your private insurance may cover the tests. This would be the first time that Medicare and elderly beneficiaries have covered an over-the-counter self-administered home test at no cost.
Participating partners include Albertsons Companies, Costco, H-E-B Pharmacy, Hy-Vee Pharmacy, Kroger Family of Pharmacies, Rite Aid Corp, Shop & Stop, Walgreens, and Walmart.
Additional Options Available to Access COVID-19 Tests
- Request home delivery of over-the-counter home tests at covidtests.gov. Every home in the U.S. can get two sets of four at-home COVID-19 tests.
- Access to tests through health care organizations; you can find them here.
- Access to lab-based PCR tests and antigen tests performed by a lab when ordered by a physician or authorized healthcare professional at no cost.
- In addition to the COVID-19 laboratory test ordered by a health care professional, if you have Medicare, you can also access one lab-performed test without an order and costa sharing during the public crisis.
CMS urged recipients to get free over-the-counter home tests via covidtests.gov. This comes in a little over a week in response to a group of Democratic senators writing a letter to the agency about Medicare covering the tests; the senator pointed out that seniors are especially at-risk for COVID-19 and that the tests are crucial.
If you qualify for Medicare but don’t know where to start, we have licensed insurance agents ready to answer your questions and help you enroll in Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement Insurance, and Prescription Part D plans. Or call 1-855-980-4104 (TTY: 711)
Frequently Asked Questions are: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/4422-frequently-asked-questions-medicare-coverage-otc-covid-tests.pdf.
Additional information: https://www.medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus.
Resources Identifying scams: https://www.medicare.gov/basics/reporting-medicare-fraud-and-abuse.
Pharmacies and other health care providers: https://www.cms.gov/COVIDOTCtestsProvider