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Does Medicare Cover At-Home COVID Tests?

Medicare Bob
Medicare General Info
While those with Medicare aren’t included in recent requirements for free at-home COVID tests, there are still ways for beneficiaries to get them at no cost.
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UPDATE: On Thursday, February 3, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that people enrolled in Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans will be able to get over-the-counter COVID-19 tests at no cost starting early spring. Click here for more details, and stay tuned to our blog and Senior Healthcare Direct on Facebook for further updates.

Starting Jan. 15, private insurers began covering at-home COVID-19 tests. Unfortunately, this presents a problem if you have healthcare coverage through Original Medicare.

Medicare doesn’t cover self-administered diagnostic tests. That means only Americans with private health insurance or group health plans will have access to the eight over-the-counter at-home antigen tests available per person per month.

The Biden administration issued the ruling earlier this year, making it possible for a family of four on the same insurance plan to receive up to 32 tests per month. They’ve even required insurers to reimburse people for tests purchased outside of their network. 

Of course, Medicare does cover rapid antigen testing or PCR tests done in a lab, but that’s limited to once a year without a doctor’s order.

How Can I Get a Rapid At-Home COVID Test for Free?

Fortunately for Medicare beneficiaries, there are still a few ways to get free at-home COVID tests. 

As of Jan. 19, COVIDTests.gov will ship four free tests via the U.S. Postal Service within seven to 12 days of your order. Go to the site and fill out their simple form to receive these tests up to a week and a half from now.

Additionally, in December 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services started disseminating 50 million free at-home tests to Medicare-certified clinics across the U.S. Check with your Medicare-approved provider to see if they have access to these free at-home COVID tests.

These at-home tests can give you the results you need within 30 minutes. 


LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The above is meant to be strictly educational and not intended to provide medical advice or solicit the sales of an insurance product or service of any kind.

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