Medicare to Cover Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Tests
Starting this spring, Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in the “Part B” outpatient benefit will be able to receive up to eight no-cost over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 tests through participating pharmacies and at other locations. Additionally, Medicare Advantage (MA) plans may offer over-the-counter COVID-19 tests as a supplemental benefit—so MA plan beneficiaries should check to see if their plan includes such a benefit.
If looking for a test before spring, people with Medicare can access free tests through other channels created by the Biden Administration including:
- Four free over-the-counter tests that will be home-delivered through covidtests.gov.
- Access to COVID-19 tests at community-based testing sites.
- Free lab-based PCR tests and antigen tests performed by a laboratory when the test is ordered by a physician, non-physician practitioner, pharmacist or other authorized health care professional. In addition to accessing a COVID-19 lab test ordered by a health care professional, people with Medicare are able to receive one lab-performed test without an order, also without cost sharing, during the public health emergency.