CMS to Cover Free COVID-19 Tests for Medicare Beneficiaries
By: Emily H. Lineweaver
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on February 3, 2022 that those enrolled in either Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage will be able to get free over-the-counter COVID-19 tests. Over-the-counter tests that have been approved or authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be made available to Medicare beneficiaries through eligible pharmacies and participating entities for free. There is a limit of eight free tests per month under this new policy.
CMS explained that although establishing this policy posed a number of issues, “CMS has identified a pathway that will expand access to free over-the-counter testing for Medicare beneficiaries. This new initiative will enable payment from Medicare directly to participating pharmacies and other participating entities to allow Medicare beneficiaries to pick up tests at no cost.” CMS did not give a specific date of when this policy is to go into effect, instead saying “early spring.” However, CMS provided a number of ways Medicare beneficiaries can access free tests until then. To view those options, click here.