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ABOUT THE AT-HOME
The tests are available to claim for free:
- Are FDA EUA Authorized
- Are rapid antigen at-home tests, not PCR
- Can be taken anywhere
- Give results within 15 minutes (no lab drop-off required)
- Work whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms
- Work whether or not you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines
- Are also referred to as self-tests or over-the-counter (OTC) tests
- Paid through a government program for all medicare recipients
- Same program as offered through government websites, with better customer support
Frequently Asked Questions
Medicare will cover these tests if you have Part B, including those enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. If you are in a Medicare Advantage plan, the tests covered under this initiative will be covered outside of your existing plan's coverage, and in addition to any over-the-counter tests that may be covered under the plan as a supplemental benefit. Medicare won't cover over-the-counter COVID-19 tests if you only have Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) coverage.
When did this initiative start?
It started April 4, 2022, and continues until the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) ends. People with Medicare Part B can get up to eight free over-the-counter tests each subsequent calendar month through the end of the COVID-19 PHE.
How can I get tests through this initiative?
As a participating pharmacy, we are authorized to provide your tests for you. On the next page you simply enter your contact information, and Medicare ID. Once approved, we will begin shipping your test kits each month. You do not pay for the tests, you will also not be charged for shipping. These tests will automatically be mailed each month absolutely free.
Do I have to change pharmacies to get a free test?
No. You will not need to change pharmacies. We simply mail you your tests each month and you would still use your regular pharmacy for all other needs.
Will I have to pay anything to get over-the-counter COVID-19 tests in this initiative?
No, you won't have to pay as long as you are on a qualifying Medicare plan. We will check your eligibility once you fill out the form on the next page, if qualified we begin sending your tests absolutely free. No cost for the tests, and no cost for shipping. However, if you get more than the eight covered over-the-counter COVID-19 tests in any calendar month, Medicare will not pay for additional over-the-counter tests in that month. You may be responsible for the cost of additional tests that calendar month, unless you have additional health coverage. If have additional coverage, you should check whether they will cover any additional tests obtained beyond the Medicare quantity limit. This means that the pharmacy or health care provider might ask you to pay for them. Note tests are sometimes packaged with more than one test per box, so eight tests may come in fewer than eight boxes.
Can I get reimbursed for any tests I bought before April 4, 2022?
No. Medicare coverage and payment began on April 4, 2022, and is available for up to eight over-the-counter COVID-19 tests per calendar month you receive from a participating pharmacy or health care provider after the initiative started. Medicare will not provide payment for over-the-counter COVID-19 tests obtained prior to April 4, 2022.
Do I have to wait a certain amount of time before I can get another eight over-the-counter tests through Medicare?
Starting April 4, 2022, this initiative covers up to eight over-the-counter COVID-19 tests each calendar month. If you've gotten eight of these tests in the current calendar month, you will need to wait until the beginning of the next calendar month to get more tests. For example, if you receive eight over-the-counter COVID-19 tests on April 14, 2022, through this initiative, you will not be eligible for another round of eight free over-the-counter COVID-19 tests until May 1, 2022. Note that there can be multiple tests per box, so eight tests may come in fewer than eight boxes.
Can I submit a claim for a test I pay for myself?
No. Medicare cannot process a claim submitted by a beneficiary for a COVID-19 over-the-counter test. You should check whether your pharmacy or health care provider is participating in the initiative, in which case they will bill Medicare for the over-the-counter test on your behalf.