Medicare Will Cover at-Home Covid Tests, Find Out How to Get Them for Free

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

covid test kits on a table
Medicare will soon cover at-home Covid tests beginning in the spring!

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, 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.hands with gloves on holding covid swab and tube
  • 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.

Free At-Home Covid Test Kits: How Many Will Your Insurance Cover?

Although rates of Covid hospitalizations have been steadily declining, the pandemic is not yet over and there is still a danger of becoming infected with the virus. For this reason, it is important to stay vigilant and get tested if you have any symptoms or come into contact with someone who has Covid. But fortunately, getting tested for Covid is now a little bit easier: a few weeks ago, President Biden issued a directive requiring health insurance companies to cover at-home Covid test kits. Americans can now have access to free at-home tests, but how many will your insurance cover?

How Many Tests Are Covered?

covid tests
Health insurance companies will now help cover the cost of 8 at-home antigen tests per household per month.

Last month, the Biden Administration mandated that health insurance companies help cover the cost of 8 at-home antigen tests per household per month. In addition, if you are told by your doctor that you need to get tested more often because of underlying conditions, there is no limit on how many tests your insurance will cover. 

In order to get the free tests, you will need to purchase them at any store where they are available and then apply for reimbursement from your health insurance company. It is important to note, though, that most insurers will only reimburse you up to $12 per test, which means you’ll have to pay for the rest out-of-pocket.

Several states are also issuing free COVID-19 tests to residents, including Colorado, Iowa, Connecticut, Washington, New Jersey, Maryland, Ohio, Oregon, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

In addition, you can get 4 free Covid test kits by requesting them online at, or by calling 1-800-232-0233. If you order your tests this way, you can expect to receive them in 7 to 12 days. 

How Much Are The Tests?

At-home Covid tests can be found at pharmacies like Walmart, Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens, and even online at Amazon. The price varies depending on the type and the brand, but tests generally cost around $10 to $25 per kit, with two tests per kit. Currently, most Walgreens and CVS stores are selling Abbott’s BinaxNow and Quidel’s QuickVue tests (two of the first tests authorized by the Food and Drug Administration) for $24 for a pack of two.

What If You Don’t Have Health Insurance?the word free written in red

If you don’t have health insurance or any kind of coverage, you can order your 4 free tests; there will also be locations where you can pick up free at-home Covid tests. According to the Biden Administration, those without insurance will soon be able to access test kits at community health clinics and other local sites. 

What If You Test Positive At Home?

If you take an at-home test and test positive, it is recommended that you share the results with your doctor or medical provider. You should also isolate for at least five days after getting your positive test result, and stay home until you are no longer symptomatic.