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Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Tests Will Be FREE to Medicare Beneficiaries

February 11, 2022

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is developing an initiative that would allow Medicare beneficiaries (including Medicare Advantage plan participants) to obtain eight free over-the-counter COVID-19 test kits per month.

The test kits will become available through eligible pharmacies and other participating entities.

This will be the first time Medicare has offered an over-the-counter test at no cost to beneficiaries.

Medicare will pay participating pharmacies and other participating entities directly. Until then, patients can access free tests this way:

  • Request four free over-the-counter tests for home delivery from the federal government.
  • Access COVID-19 tests through healthcare providers at free testing sites near you.
  • Medicare beneficiaries can currently access one lab-performed test without an order at no cost during the public health emergency. (Call 800-Medicare about where to find a test.)

For more information, access CMS’ Frequently Asked Questions.

Questions? Please contact the ISMS Health Policy Research and Advocacy team by email.

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