How do I get Covid-19 rapid tests?
What to know and how to get free rapid tests
Although subject to change, currently Original Medicare does not cover at home rapid tests for Covid-19. However, the Medicare program does cover rapid antigen or PCR testing done by a lab without charging beneficiaries, but there's a hitch: It's limited to one test per year unless someone has a doctor's order.
So what should you do if you want to get tested? There are a couple of options:
Free at-home COVID-19 Tests
Residential households in the U.S. can order one set of 4 free at-home tests from USPS.com. Here’s what you need to know about your order:
Limit of one order per residential address
One order includes 4 individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests
Orders will ship free starting in late January
You can visit Covidtests.gov to request your free at-home tests.
You can pick up free at-home tests from community health centers and Medicare-certified health clinics.
HHS is providing up to 50 million free, at-home tests to community health centers and Medicare-certified health clinics for distribution at no cost to patients and community members. You can learn more about this program here. HHS also has established more than 10,000 free community-based pharmacy testing sites around the country.
Coverage by plan
At this time, Original Medicare does not pay for COVID-19 rapid tests.
Most plans do offer some coverage for other types of covid testing, or if you have an OTC benefit you may be able to use that to purchase tests. If you need help figuring out your benefits please give us a call so we can be of assistance at 1-844-955-3690 (TTY: 711).
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