Does Medicare Cover COVID Tests?
Fair Square Medicare

Does Medicare Cover COVID Tests?

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By Daniel Petkevich

Dec 21, 2022

Diagnostic and at-home tests are covered

Diagnostic tests in a doctor's office, hospital, or pharmacy are covered at no cost to you. In addition to diagnostic tests, you can get up to 8 over-the-counter COVID tests free each month with your Medicare card.

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Overview of Medicare Coverage for COVID Testing

Medicare will cover COVID tests at no cost to you, including diagnostic tests in a doctor's office or hospital and up to 8 over-the-counter COVID tests free each month with your Medicare card.

You may also be eligible for Telehealth visits related to the diagnosis of the coronavirus (COVID-19) if your doctor or other healthcare provider accepts assignment for the service. Medicare will pay all of the cost for these visits and you won’t have to pay a copayment or coinsurance.

In addition, Medicare is expanding coverage to include many lab tests, such as antibody and antigen tests, when ordered by your doctor or another healthcare provider. Medicare will also cover certain services related to COVID-19, such as inpatient hospital care, outpatient hospital care, emergency department visits, and more.

What Types of Tests are Covered by Medicare?

Medicare covers diagnostic tests for COVID-19 infection in a doctor's office, hospital or pharmacy. Medicare also covers up to 8 over-the-counter (OTC) COVID tests per month with your Medicare card. In addition, Medicare coverage is expanding to include many laboratory tests related to the diagnosis and treatment of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Medicare is also covering services related to COVID-19, including inpatient hospital care, outpatient hospital care and emergency department visits. Medicare will cover these services if you need additional medical care due to COVID-19 infection.

How to Access Free Diagnostic Tests?

If you're looking to get a free diagnostic test through Medicare, you'll need to find a provider that accepts Medicare assignment. You can search for providers in your area by using the Provider Finder tool on the Medicare website. Once you've found a provider, contact them directly to arrange for testing and coverage.

In some cases, you may be able to access free diagnostic tests through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This legislation provides funding for certain testing sites that are available in many states. Check with your state or local health department to find out if there are any CARES-funded testing sites in your area.

Over-the-Counter Tests

Over-the-counter (OTC) tests are COVID tests that you can purchase without a doctor's prescription. Medicare now covers up to 8 OTC test kits per month with your Medicare card. You can find OTC testing kits at many pharmacies, major retailers, and online stores. Make sure to look for the FDA-approved label when selecting an OTC COVID testing kit.

To get a COVID testing kit at your participating pharmacy, all you need to do is show your red, white, and blue Medicare card.

If you're using an OTC test, be sure to follow the instructions on the package carefully and contact your doctor right away if you have any questions or concerns.

Other Resources For More Information on Medicare and COVID Testing

If you have any questions about Medicare coverage for COVID testing, contact your local Social Security office or visit the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website. The website also has information on other types of coverage and financial assistance options related to COVID-19.

You can also find help understanding your medical bills at the Health Care Cost Institute website. The website provides tools, resources and tips on how to understand your medical bills and how to negotiate them if needed.

No matter what type of testing you need, it's important that you reach out for help if you're having any difficulty accessing care or understanding your coverage. Medicare is here to support you in getting the care you need during this time.

Takeaway

Medicare covers diagnostic tests for COVID-19 infection in a doctor's office, hospital or pharmacy, and up to 8 OTC test kits per month with your Medicare card. Medicare is also covering services related to COVID-19, such as inpatient hospital care, outpatient hospital care and emergency department visits. Fair Square Medicare is here for all your Medicare-related questions. Call today to speak with one of our Medicare experts.

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