Over-the-counter Covid-19 tests are quickly selling out at pharmacies all over the country. These tests make it possible to self-administer a Covid-19 test without the risk of exposing others or the need to wait in line at a testing facility.
Update as of April 4, 2022:
Medicare will now cover up to eight free over-the-counter (OTC) Covid-19 tests a month, at NO cost to Medicare Beneficiaries. This will remain in effect until the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) ends.
Since Medicare is paying these participating entities directly, you pay nothing at checkout for these over-the-counter tests. However, in order for the tests to be covered, they must be picked up at a pharmacy or facility that participates in this program and you will need to show your red, white, and blue Medicare card (even if you have another card for a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Part D plan).
Additional items that Medicare covers in relation to COVID-19:
- FDA-authorized and FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines. You pay no out-of-pocket costs.
- Lab tests for COVID-19. You pay no out-of-pocket costs.
- FDA-authorized COVID-19 antibody (or “serology”) tests if you were diagnosed with a known current or known prior COVID-19 infection or suspected current or suspected past COVID-19 infection.
- Monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19.
- All medically necessary hospitalizations. This includes if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19 and might otherwise have been discharged from the hospital after an inpatient stay, but instead you need to stay in the hospital under quarantine. You’ll still pay for any hospital deductibles, copays, or coinsurances that apply.
You can also visit this link above to find a participating locations near you!