Medicare Now Covers At-Home COVID-19 Tests

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Woman taking at-home COVID-19 test
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Medicare recipients no longer have to pay for at-home COVID-19 tests.

As of today, the tests are covered at no cost through Medicare, according to an announcement from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

According to a CMS press release:

“People with Medicare can get up to eight tests per calendar month from participating pharmacies and health care providers for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.”

This applies to over-the-counter COVID-19 tests — also referred to as those that have been approved, authorized or cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The new initiative builds on a previously announced Biden administration requirement for private insurers to cover the cost of over-the-counter tests at up to eight per insured individual per month. (Initially, that requirement did not apply to Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people age 65 and older and people with certain diseases or disabilities.)

More than 61 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare. The federal government notes that this is the first time Medicare has covered an over-the-counter test where beneficiaries are not responsible for any costs.

However, this is one of several ways folks on Medicare can be tested for COVID-19 at no cost, as we reported before this new development in “On Medicare? 6 Ways to Get Free COVID-19 Tests.”