Medicare to Present Free COVID-19 Speedy Exams

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News Picture: Medicare to Provide Free COVID-19 Rapid Tests

FRIDAY, Jan. 4, 2022 (HealthDay Information)

Medicare will quickly present as much as eight free COVID speedy exams a month to seniors enrolled within the authorities medical insurance program, the Biden administration introduced Thursday.

The new policy for the over-the-counter exams will take impact in early spring. The at-home exams might be obtainable at pharmacies and different places for purchasers with Medicare’s “Half B” outpatient profit, which about 90% of enrollees have.

This would be the first time that Medicare has lined an over-the-counter check for gratis to recipients, the Related Press reported.

Entry to free COVID speedy exams will even be obtainable to individuals with Medicare Benefit, a non-public insurance coverage choice utilized by 4 in 10 Medicare enrollees. These plans can already cowl over-the-counter COVID-19 exams as a supplemental profit, the AP reported.

Medicare will proceed to supply free lab-based PCR testing, however these exams should be ordered by a clinician or a certified well being care skilled, White Home officers mentioned.

Final month, the Biden administration told non-public insurers to supply as much as eight free at-home exams a month for his or her purchasers.

Thursday’s announcement that Medicare will do the identical was applauded by the AARP, an advocacy group for older individuals.

“AARP applauds immediately’s announcement that may assure entry to at-home over-the-counter COVID-19 exams for gratis for Medicare’s 64 million beneficiaries… Expanded entry to no-cost testing will assist defend seniors who’ve been hit hardest by the pandemic and guarantee they’ll stay related with their family members and neighborhood,” Nancy LeaMond, an AARP government vice chairman and its chief advocacy and engagement officer, mentioned in a statement.

“Each American ought to have a simple solution to get at-home COVID exams. We all know that individuals 65 and older are at a lot better danger of great sickness and dying from this illness — they want equal entry to instruments that may assist hold them protected,” she added. “The price of paying for exams and the time wanted to seek out free testing choices are limitations that might discourage Medicare beneficiaries from getting examined, resulting in better social isolation and continued unfold of the virus.”

Earlier than Thursday’s announcement, Medicare enrollees may get free at-home exams by requesting 4 free exams for house supply via covidtests.gov or selecting up free exams up from neighborhood places similar to libraries or senior facilities that distribute them. These choices will stay obtainable whereas the brand new coverage goes into impact, the AP reported.

Extra info

Go to the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention for extra on COVID tests.

SOURCE: Related Press

Robert Preidt and Robin Foster

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