The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provide access to COVID-19 testing for Medicare members. Members are eligible for free at-home COVID-19 tests through their Medicare plan.
Why it matters
The cost of at-home tests can add up quickly. Price varies by retailer, but most tests range from $20 to $30 for a pack of two. Through this initiative, Medicare members can save money since Medicare Part B covers the cost through participating pharmacies or providers.
How it works
Medicare will cover up to eight at-home tests per calendar month for members who have Original Medicare or Medicare Part B. There's no upfront payment or reimbursement required; members get the tests for free at point of sale when they visit a participating pharmacy.
Which tests qualify
There are two major types of FDA-approved COVID-19 tests:
PCR tests, also known as molecular tests, detect viral genetic material in fluid from a nasal swab, throat swab, or saliva.
Rapid antigen tests, also known as self-tests or over-the-counter (OTC) tests, detect viral proteins in fluid from a nasal swab.
As of right now, Medicare will cover FDA-authorized over-the-counter tests for at-home use. Rapid tests are safe, easy to use, and provide results within minutes.
How to order tests
Members can order tests in person or over the phone from participating pharmacies. Visit medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus for a list of some of the organizations participating in the COVID-19 over-the-counter test initiative for members with Medicare Part B.
Let Highmark help with finding your Medicare plan
Schedule a personal consultation with a Highmark Medicare advisor or call 866-320-8359 , 7 days a week, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. (ET), (TTY users call 711)
This site works best with the latest version of Edge, Firefox, Chrome or Safari.
Highmark Choice Company, Highmark Senior Health Company, and Highmark Senior Solutions Company are Medicare Advantage plans with a Medicare contract. HM Health Insurance Company is a PDP plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Highmark Choice Company, Highmark Senior Health Company, Highmark Senior Solutions Company, and HM Health Insurance Company depends on contract renewal.
Health benefits or health benefit administration may be provided by or through Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Highmark Choice Company, Highmark Senior Health Company, Highmark Senior Solutions Company, or Highmark Health Insurance Company, all of which are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. All references to “Highmark” in this document are references to the Highmark company that is providing the member’s health benefits or health benefit administration.
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield serves the 29 counties of western Pennsylvania and 13 counties of northeastern Pennsylvania. Highmark Blue Shield serves the 21 counties of central Pennsylvania and also provides services in conjunction with a separate health plan in southeastern Pennsylvania. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia serves the state of West Virginia plus Washington County. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware serves the state of Delaware. Highmark Western and Northeastern New York Inc., serves eight counties in Western New York under the trade name Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York and serves 13 counties in Northeastern New York under the trade name Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York. Each of these companies is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Blue Cross, Blue Shield and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. All references to “Highmark” in this document are references to the Highmark company that is providing the member’s health benefits or health benefit administration.
Enter your ZIP code so we can show you personalized information.