Medicare covers items and services related to COVID-19. Medicare covers:
- FDA-authorize and FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines.
- Lab tests for COVID-19.
- COVID-19 Over-the-Counter tests.
- FDA-authorize COVID-19 antibody tests.
- Monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19.
- All medically necessary hospitalizations regarding COVID-19.
- Expanded telehealth services during the Public Health Emergency.
COVID-19 Testing & Medicare
Does Medicare Cover Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tests
Medicare covers the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to you. Medicare covers the vaccines for anyone who has Medicare due to their age, a disability, End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), or ALS (also called Lou Gehrig’s disease). Be sure to bring your Medicare card.
Medicare also covers the COVID-19 vaccine booster shot at no cost to you. You can get a booster from the same COVID-19 vaccine that you originally got, or choose a different one. If you got a Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, a booster is not recommended at this time. If you got a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you can get a booster shot at least 5 months after you complete your second dose of the vaccine series. If you got a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, you can get a booster shot at least 2 months after you got your first shot.
If you are immunocompromised, like people who have had an organ transplant and are at risk for infections and other diseases, Medicare will cover an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose at no cost to you. If your first two doses were Pfizer, your third dose should also be Pfizer, and the same principle applies to Moderna.
If you are 50 or older, or if you’re moderately to severely immunocompromised, you may get a second COVID-19 vaccine booster shot at no cost to you, at least 4 months after your first booster. Your second booster must be a Pfizer or Moderna booster, but it does not need to be the same as your initial COVID-19 vaccine.
If you have Medicare and have a disability or face other challenges in getting to a location away from home for a vaccination, Medicare will pay a doctor or other care provider to give you the COVID-19 vaccine in your home. You may need to give them your Medicare number for billing, but there’s still no cost to you for the vaccine and its administration.
Does Medicare Cover Coronavirus (COVID-19) Antibody Tests
Medicare now covers over-the-counter COVID-19 tests at no cost to you. This coverage continues until the COVID-19 public health emergency ends.
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) will cover these tests if you have Part B. Medicare will not cover over-the-counter COVID-19 tests if you only have Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance), but you may be able to get free tests through other programs or insurance coverage you may have.
If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you won’t get this benefit through your plan, but you will get it like you would if you weren’t enrolled in the plan. You might need to show your red, white, and blue Medicare card to get your free over-the-counter COVID-19 tests, even if you have another card for a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Part D Plan.
Get the covered tests at any participating eligible pharmacy or health care provider at no cost to you, even if you aren’t a current customer or patient. Find a partial list of pharmacies participating in the Medicare COVID-19 OTC tests initiative.
Medicare also covers COVID-19 tests you get from a laboratory, pharmacy, doctor, or hospital, and when a doctor or other health care professional orders it. You can also get up to one lab-performed test during the COVID-19 public health emergency without an order at no cost to you.
Some Medicare Advantage Plans may cover and pay for at-home over-the-counter COVID-19 tests as an added benefit. Check with your plan to see if it will cover and pay for these tests.
You can also:
- Visit www.covid.gov/tests to place up to 3 orders per household for free at-home tests. You can get 16 tests total per residential address.
- Access COVID-19 tests with no cost-sharing through healthcare providers at over 20,000 community-based testing sites nationwide.
Does Medicare Cover Coronavirus Treatment?
Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) covers inpatient hospital care for COVID-19 if you meet both of these conditions:
- You are admitted to the hospital as an inpatient after an official doctor’s order, which says you need inpatient hospital care to treat your illness.
- The hospital accepts Medicare.
Medicare-covered inpatient hospital services for COVID-19 include:
- Semi-private rooms
- General nursing
- Other hospital services and supplies as part of your inpatient treatment
How Medicare is Responding to Coronavirus
Medicare is responding to the Coronavirus by covering items and services related to COVID-19, such as vaccines, lab tests, over-the-counter tests, antibody treatments, and all medically necessary hospitalizations. Medicare urges its customers to get the COVID-19 vaccine if they have not already – and if they’re had their 2 vaccines, to please get their booster shot as soon as possible.
To stay up to date: