Medicare beneficiaries are able to receive up to eight free over-the-counter (OTC) COVID-19 tests each month. The tests are available if you visit a participating pharmacy or other health care provider.
This initiative is in effect as long as the federal government determines a Public Health Emergency (PHE) exists. The COVID-19 PHE began on January 27, 2020, and has been renewed every 90 days, the latest effective April 16, 2022.
OTC at-home tests give rapid results, and you can take them anywhere, regardless of your vaccination status or whether you have symptoms. Visit CDC.gov to learn when to test yourself, how to use an OTC test, and what your test results mean.
See how you can get your free at-home COVID-19 tests.
How Do You Get Free At-home COVID-19 Tests Through Medicare?
You can pick up your free OTC rapid tests at participating pharmacies and other health care providers. Before you go, call the pharmacy or provider to make sure they have tests available for you. Remember to bring your red, white, and blue Medicare card.
Medicare Part B (medical insurance) covers the costs of the free at-home tests. The tests are not covered if you only have Medicare Part A (hospital insurance). If you are in a Medicare Advantage Plan as an alternative way to get your Medicare benefits, Medicare pays for the free at-home tests through Part B.
Here is a partial list of pharmacies and website links participating in the Medicare COVID-19 OTC tests initiative. You do not need to be a current customer or user of these pharmacies to get your free at-home tests as long as they are available and you show your red, white, and blue Medicare card.