People With Medicare Can Now Get Free Covid Tests
This is the first time Medicare has covered an over-the-counter test at no cost to recipients, AP reported. In other testing news, some health experts say the free tests being mailed from the federal government might be affected by the freezing weather hitting many parts of the nation.
Medicare Beneficiaries To Get No-Cost At-Home Covid-19 Tests
People with Medicare will be able to obtain up to eight over-the-counter Covid-19 tests a month for free starting in early spring, the Biden administration said Thursday. Under the plan, Medicare will directly pay certain pharmacies and other participating entities, allowing people with Medicare or Medicare Advantage to pick up the tests for free. (Lim and Levy, 2/3)
Medicare Opens Up Access To Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests
Medicare benefits are governed by a host of arcane laws and regulations, and officials said Thursday they were able to arrange for coverage of over-the-counter COVID-19 tests by using the program’s legal authority to conduct demonstration programs on innovative ways to deliver health care. This is the first time Medicare has covered an over-the-counter test at no cost to recipients. People with Medicare Advantage, a private insurance option that covers about 4 in 10 Medicare enrollees, will also have access to free COVID-19 tests through their plans, officials said. Medicare Advantage plans can already cover over-the-counter COVID-19 tests as a supplemental benefit. (Alonso-Zaldivar, 2/3)
In other news about covid testing —
Those COVID Tests The Government Sent You Might Not Work. Cold Weather Could Be To Blame
At the same time most Americans are facing cold fronts and winter storms, they're also expecting their at-home COVID-19 tests from the government to arrive in the mail. Most at-home COVID-19 test brands recommend storing the tests above 35 degrees. The liquid reagent inside the cartridge that comes with the at-home tests is susceptible to freezing, and if that happens the accuracy of the results decreases, Cindy Pins, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Florida, told USA TODAY. (Miranda, 2/4)
CVS Removes COVID-19 Test Purchasing Limits
CVS is no longer limiting the number of over-the-counter coronavirus at-home tests consumers can purchase at its stores. "We’ve worked with our vendors to increase inventory of OTC COVID-19 tests and have removed all product limits on those products at CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide and on CVS.com," a CVS spokesperson told FOX Business. (Genovese, 2/3)
Can Your At-Home COVID-19 Test Go In The Trash?
Can you throw your at-home, rapid COVID-19 test in the trash, or is it considered hazardous biological waste? Unlike at hospitals, at-home tests can be thrown in the normal trash, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the Miami Herald in January. However, some states have taken different stances. (Dodson, 2/3)