Medicare Reimbursement Coronavirus (COVID-19) tests

Medicare Reimbursement Coronavirus (COVID-19) tests

Covers a test to see if you have coronavirus (officially called coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19).

Your costs in Original Medicare

You pay nothing for this test when you get it from a laboratory, pharmacy, doctor, or hospital, and when a doctor or other authorized health care professional orders it. You can also get up to one lab-performed test during the COVID-19 public health emergency without an order, at no cost to you.

Currently, Original Medicare doesn’t pay for over-the-counter COVID-19 tests. You can pick up free at-home tests from community health centers and Medicare-certified health clinics. Or, visit COVIDtests.gov to order a free COVID-19 at-home test.

In early Spring 2022, people with Medicare will be able to go to a network of pharmacies and health care facilities to get up to 8 free, over-the-counter COVID-19 tests a month through Medicare. More information will be available in early Spring.

Some Medicare Advantage Plans may cover and pay for at-home over-the-counter COVID-19 tests as an added benefit. Check with your plan to see if it will cover and pay for these tests.

What it is?

Tests done to help your health care provider diagnose or rule out COVID-19. In some circumstances, a home health nurse, laboratory technician, or an appropriately-trained medical assistant may collect your specimen in your home for this test.

Things to know?

Each household in the U.S. can get 4 free COVID-19 tests shipped to their home at no cost.

  • You can take these rapid tests anywhere and get results within 30 minutes.
  • Orders usually ship in 7-12 days.

You can also access low-to-no-cost COVID-19 tests through healthcare providers at over 20,000 free community-based testing sites nationwide.

Protect yourself from scams. Don’t share your personal or financial information if someone calls you promising free at-home tests.

Medicare Advantage Plans can’t charge copayments, deductibles, or coinsurance for clinical lab tests to detect or diagnose COVID-19

  • When tests are available for you in your state, Medicare covers and you pay nothing for:
    • Tests to diagnose or aid the diagnosis of COVID-19
    • Some tests for related respiratory conditions to aid diagnosis of COVID-19 done together with the COVID-19 test
  • Medicare covers these tests at different locations, including some “parking lot” test sites.
  • Medicare also covers COVID-19 antibody testsCOVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatments, and COVID-19 vaccines.
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