With the cases of COVID19 rising and new variants emerging, it has become important for people to have an extended safety protocol at home. In the line of the same, a recent declaration is made to make the COVID at-home kits free for the beneficiaries of Medicare.
At-Home COVID Kits For Free Confirmed CMS
In a recent announcement shared by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), beginning in early spring, Medicare will cover up to eight COVID-19 test kits per month for typical Medicare members. According to MedPage Today, CMS took this move after being pressured by the Congress and the seniors’ groups to cover the tests. This is a pathway to increase access to free over-the-counter tests for Medicare beneficiaries.
Eight Senate Democrats Asked This In A Letter
A group of Senators wrote a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. The letter shared the concern over seniors and people with disabilities having a high risk of COVID due to the existing illnesses and asked to offer the facility of free at-home rapid COVID19 testing.
This letter was signed by eight Senators which included Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).
Reason To Establish The Policy
Testing is a crucial tool to mitigate th risk of COVID19 spread and keep the beneficiaries healthy and safe. Offering free test kits at home will facilitate millions of Americans on Medicare to overcome this hurdle and have better safety.
The AARP, which also fought for the tests for Medicare recipients, applauded the decision. Nancy LeaMond, the group’s executive vice president, shared a positive view on this decision by stating, “We are pleased that CMS listened to our concerns and found a path forward to cover over-the-counter tests for seniors.”
Ways To Obtain Free Tests Until The Policy Is Enforced
While the policy is still under formulation, the main ways to get the free tests are as follows:
- Using covidtests.gov for requesting home delivery of four free over-the-counter tests.
- Accessing any one of the 20,000 free testing sites nationwide, the details are available at HHS.gov.
- Obtain access to laboratory-based PCR tests and antigen tests.
CMS stated that Medicare beneficiaries should check with their plan to verify if at-home testing is covered or not.