The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced that effective April 4, 2022, all Medicare Part B enrollees (including those with Medicare Advantage) will be eligible to receive up to 8 free at-home COVID-19 tests from specific pharmacies every month.
This marks the first time that the program has covered an over-the-counter health test at no cost.
One of the reasons that CMS authorized this move is because the latest variant of COVID-19—BA.2 omicron—has become the largest driver of current COVID infections in the U.S.
Here is a list of some of the major national chains that are participating in this program:
|Albertsons||Giant Food||Rite Aid|
|Costco||H-E-B||Stop & Shop|
It’s also important to note that all health care providers are included in this program.
Even if Medicare enrollees are not current customers of any of the above pharmacies (or current patients of a particular health care provider), they still qualify to get their free at-home test kits from any of them. There is no requirement to change health care providers or pharmacies to get the test kits.
This is in addition to the 8 free COVID-19 tests that are available each month to all Americans, regardless of age.
Additionally, Medicare recipients are still able to access free testing at more than 20,000 test sites that use either rapid PCR tests, lab-based PCR tests, or rapid antigen tests.
The bad news? Medicare beneficiaries who only have Part A coverage do not qualify for this program.
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