Does Medicare Cover COVID-19 Tests?

Medicare covers COVID-19 testing, treatment and services during the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more about Medicare COVID-19 coverage to maximize your health benefits.

Medicare covers COVID-19 testing and treatment, and it’s important to know how and when you can use your Medicare health benefits. In this COVID-19 Medicare guide, we dive into some of the details and other important information for you to know about coronavirus Medicare coverage.

How Long Will Medicare Continue to Cover COVID-19 Tests?

Medicare coverage of COVID-19 testing will remain in place at least until the COVID-19 public health emergency is lifted.

The COVID-19 public health emergency status was renewed again in January 2023 to potentially expire in mid-April 2023 unless another extension is made. The federal government will give state governments a 60-day notice before the public health emergency is lifted.

Once the national public health emergency status is lifted, Medicare’s coverage of COVID-19 testing may change. 

What Part of Medicare Covers COVID-19 Tests?

COVID-19 tests are covered by Medicare Part B and all Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans. 

What Kind Of COVID-19 Tests Are Covered by Medicare?

Medicare covers both laboratory tests and rapid tests. Covered tests include those performed in:

  • Laboratories
  • Doctor’s offices
  • Hospitals
  • Pharmacies
  • Drive-thru windows and other parking lot testing centers

Over-the-counter COVID-19 tests you can take at home are also covered by Medicare. Coverage includes tests that are performed via nasal swabs and saliva samples.

Medicare covers up to eight over-the-counter at-home COVID-19 tests per month. You can visit Medicare.gov, the official government website of the federal Medicare program, to see a list of participating pharmacies.

How Much Do COVID-19 Tests Cost With Medicare?

COVID-19 tests are covered in full by Medicare. That means you will not be charged a copayment or coinsurance and you will not have to meet a deductible. This is true for Medicare Part B and all Medicare Advantage plans. In addition, the health care provider administering the test may not charge you an administration fee. 

Keep in mind that if you receive other health care services or items at the same time as your COVID-19 test, you may be charged for that care and may also be charged for an office visit, administration fee or other costs. 

Does Medicare Cover Antibody Tests?

Medicare Part B and all Medicare Advantage plans cover COVID-19 antibody tests. These tests determine if you have developed antibodies to a previous COVID-19 infection and may be at a reduced risk of an immediate COVID-19 reinfection

Like the tests for COVID-19 itself, the antibody tests are also free of any cost-sharing for as long as the public health emergency is in place. 

Does Medicare Cover COVID-19 Vaccines?

Medicare Part B and all Medicare Advantage plans provide coverage for the COVID-19 vaccine. Both the initial shots and follow-up boosters are included as part of the coverage.

There is no patient cost-sharing for the COVID-19 vaccine, and some beneficiaries may qualify to have the vaccine administered right in their own home

Does Medicare Cover COVID-19 Treatment?

Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans can cover monoclonal antibody treatments, hospitalization and telehealth services for the treatment of COVID-19. 

How Do I Find a Medicare Advantage Plan That Covers COVID-19 Tests and Vaccines?

COVID-19 testing and vaccines are covered by Medicare Part B. All Medicare Advantage plans are required by law to include all Part A and Part B benefits, which means any Medicare Advantage plan you choose will include COVID-19 testing and vaccine coverage. 

Speak with a licensed insurance agent for help comparing additional plan benefits, costs, and other terms so you can find the best Medicare Advantage plan for your needs. 

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Christian

About the author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with MedicareAdvantage.com. He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

Christian has written hundreds of articles for MedicareAvantage.com that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at Mike@tzhealthmedia.com.

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