Beginning in early April, Medicare will cover over-the-counter COVID-19 tests at no cost. Similar to the program already in place for private health plans, Medicare has partnered with various pharmacies throughout the country to provide up to eight tests per month. Medicare will submit payment for the test directly to the pharmacy, so individuals will receive the test at no cost at the point of sale and without needing to be reimbursed. All over-the-counter COVID-19 tests that are approved, authorized, or cleared by the FDA are eligible for coverage.
The program is available to all individuals enrolled in Medicare Part B, including individuals enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. Individuals with Medicare who are only entitled to Part A, and not enrolled in Part B, are not eligible.
Participating pharmacies include Costco, CVS, Food Lion, Kroger, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Walmart, and more. Medicare beneficiaries should check with their pharmacy to find out whether they are participating in this initiative.