Medicare News and Healthcare Updates

Medicare Part B Now Covers Free COVID-19 Self-Tests

by Alli Thomas

Apr 18, 2022

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.

Where to get free COVID-19 at-home tests

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
CVS Hy-Vee Walgreens
Food Lion Kroger Walmart

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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Alli Thomas

Alli Thomas has worked in the financial services industry for nearly 20 years, with a focus on retirement-related investing. She began her career as a FINRA-licensed participant-services call-center associate at Vanguard, and then moved to Principal Financial Group, where she worked closely with employers, assisting with retirement plan set-up and design, selecting appropriate plan investment offerings, and maximizing employee participation through targeted education campaigns and enrollment meetings. Alli has also worked as a qualified 401(k) administrator and registered investment advisor for several small investment firms. She now writes about all things investment- and finance-related, leveraging her extensive experience and passion for retirement planning to help investors make well-informed financial decisions.

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