One of the most burning questions eligible Medicare beneficiaries are asking today is whether or not Medicare will pay for at-home COVID tests, and rightly so. While not every Medicare beneficiary is home-bound, many are. Because the pandemic continues, it is crucial that we remain aware of changes to testing and treatment.
The convenience of at-home testing should be a noteworthy option worth exploring for those needing COVID or other testing, especially for those 65 years or older, and/or are at high-risk with health-related concerns. At-home COVID testing through Original Medicare coverage is not available at this time. What that means is Original Medicare will not cover or reimburse the purchase of an at-home COVID test from local retailers such as drug stores, grocery stores and the like.
Community health centers and Medicare-certified health clinics that offer at-home COVID tests free of charge. That’s a great savings perk since COVID tests can cost anywhere between $36- $180 dollars per test, plus any fees that may be included, or are extra for special medical circumstances.
If administering an at-home test requires the assistance of a medical professional-aide deemed necessary by a physician, Medicare will pay for such skilled nursing or therapeutic assistance at home.
COVID-19 Test Kits, Insurance, No Insurance and Federal Updates
There’s more very good news to offer. Beginning January 15, 2022, health insurance plans and Medicare Advantage Plans are now required by a federal mandate to pay for 8 COVID-19 test kits per individual, per month. These test kits must either be obtained for free at in-network pharmacies or purchase for reimbursement.
Equally significant is the assistance those without insurance can soon receive from the federal government. Beginning January 19, 2022, individual American households will now be able to request and receive 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests from COVIDTests.gov* with expected deliveries shipping within 7-12 days.
* An important inclusion: If an individual has underlying health factors that already exist and their physician concludes a COVID-19 test should be administered, testing coverage is unlimited.
COVID Testing and Employment
Many folks remain employed long after the age of 65. Ideal or not, safety must come first. Receiving multiple COVID testing kits for free can be vital for those currently employed and requiring continual interaction with others. Don’t forget to include important health practices of hand-washing, mask-wearing and disinfecting.
How Covid Tests are Delivered
COVIDTests.gov, Alaska, Hawaii, US Territories and military addresses within the Continental United States will have testing kits shipped through Priority Mail. The United States Postal Service (USPS) will use First-Class Package delivery service.
Keeping Your Eyes and Ears Open
Original Medicare beneficiaries and every person deserves the health care they need. Being able to trust the information you read is critical to receiving the best care from all angles. COVID-19, coronavirus variants and personal adjustment protocols can be challenging, so it is important to stay current of day-to-day updates through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).