As of April 4, Medicare will now cover over-the-counter COVID-19 tests for those participating in certain Medicare programs. Medicare will cover eight over-the-counter COVID-19 tests each calendar month for enrollees. There is no cost to those enrolled. This coverage will continue until the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) ends, according to medicare.gov.
Those enrolled in Medicare Part B (medical insurance) will have access to coverage, as long as they are enrolled in Part B. However, if enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, participants will not receive this benefit. Medicare.gov states, “you won’t get this benefit through your plan, but will get it like you would if you weren’t enrolled in the plan.”
Those who wish to take advantage of this coverage may need to show their red, white and blue Medicare card in order to get the free over-the-counter COVID-19 tests (even if you have another card for a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Part D plan).
Participants will not have to pay as long as they go to an eligible pharmacy or healthcare provider that participates in this initiative. In Wisconsin, the following pharmacies and healthcare providers are participating:
- Albertsons Companies, Inc.
- Including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, and Carrs stores.
- Order via in-person or phone
- Costco Pharmacy
- To find a local warehouse, select “Locations” on costco.com, and enter a city and state, or ZIP code. Select “Store Details,” then “Pharmacy” for the hours and phone number.
- Order via in-person
- Visit your local CVS Pharmacy to request your test kits through your Medicare coverage with no out-of-pocket cost.
- Order via in-store
- Kroger Family of Pharmacies
- Visit your local Kroger Pharmacy to request your test kits
- Order via in-person and online
- Visit your local Walgreens and then save your receipt and submit for reimbursement, or visit your local pharmacy to see if your plan covers the cost
- Order via in-store
- Visit your nearest Walmart or browse online
- Only the In-Store options are eligible for Medicare beneficiaries.
- Order via In-Person at the Pharmacy Counter
Looking for a pharmacy that is not listed above?
- Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to find access to free tests. TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.
- Check with your pharmacy or healthcare provider to see if they are participating and will bill Medicare on your behalf.
If you are not eligible for free testing through this initiative, you can also get COVID-19 tests:
- Visit COVID.gov online to order 2 sets of 4 free at-home tests
- A total of 8 tests can be shipped to your home.
- 2 separate orders need to be placed, each order will send 4 tests.
- COVID-19 tests are available at free testing sites in Racine County; visit the Racine County Eye’s Coronavirus page for more information
The Racine County Eye and Kenosha Lens is committed to publishing the most current and accurate information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in our Coronavirus section. View both the Racine County COVID-19 Dashboard and Kenosha County COVID-19 Dashboard offering real-time (updated Monday – Friday) statistical reporting for Racine and Kenosha Counties.