Since Covid-19 hit the U.S., we have been looking for ways to stop the spread of the virus. One of these ways has been to try and test people as effectively as possible, although this has proven difficult to do. But now President Biden has finally rolled out his plan to get free at-home Covid tests to everyone who wants them, mandating most insurers cover a certain number of tests per month. And now Medicare will partake in it, offering older adults the ability to get at-home tests for free starting in Spring 2022.
At-Home Test Coverage
The Biden Administration has mandated that private insurers must now cover the cost of up to 8 at-home tests per person a month, as of January 15. Depending on the insurance company, those looking to purchase tests will either get no-cost tests at the store, or will purchase the tests out-of-pocket and submit a claim for reimbursement.
In February 2022, the Biden Administration announced that Medicare will cover the cost of up to 8 at-home COVID tests per month for Medicare beneficiaries with Part B, starting in early spring 2022. Medicare beneficiaries will be able to pick up the tests at no cost from eligible pharmacies and other entities.
In the Meantime…
There are other ways for Medicare beneficiaries to get them for free, including:
- Ordering four free tests through Covidtests.gov, a new government website.
- Going to Medicare-certified health clinics, as well as community health centers, where at-home tests can be picked up for free.
- Getting free testing at local testing sites: “While at this time original Medicare cannot pay for at-home tests, testing remains a critical tool to help mitigate the spread of Covid,” a CMS spokesperson said, adding that there are more than 20,000 free testing sites where beneficiaries can get lab-based PCR tests, rapid PCR tests, and rapid antigen tests.
- Getting tests authorized by a healthcare provider, in which case there will be no cost-sharing fee.
As of now, until this initiative begins, Medicare beneficiaries are required to pay for the cost of at-home rapid tests for Covid-19 and are not getting reimbursed by Medicare.