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Medicare to Pay for Home Covid Tests

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February 04, 2022

Medicare to Pay for Home Covid Tests

On Thursday the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced plans to make over-the-counter (OTC) COVID-19 tests available to people with Medicare at no cost by “early spring.”

CMS’s initial OTC testing policy applied to private insurers but not Medicare. However, the Biden Administration has changed the law to allow Medicare to provide coverage for at-home COVID-19 tests. Under the new initiative, Medicare beneficiaries will be able to access up to eight over-the-counter COVID-19 tests per month for free. Tests will be available through eligible pharmacies and other participating entities.

“This will be the first time that Medicare has covered an over-the-counter test at no cost to beneficiaries,” said Joseph Peters, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “The pandemic has led to many changes in our lives, and this policy change is definitely a positive step for seniors.”

Once the initiative is up and running, CMS will encourage beneficiaries to ask their local pharmacy or current health care provider whether they are participating in this initiative. Answers to frequently asked questions, including options for getting free Covid tests now, before the change takes effect, are available here.

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