Following pressure from Reps. Peters & Pascrell, Medicare announces full reimbursement for at-home COVID testing
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nearly three weeks after Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) and Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (NJ-09) were the first to call on the Biden administration to provide the same testing coverage for Medicare beneficiaries as those with private insurance and Medicaid, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that seniors under Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans will be able to get at-home over-the-counter COVID tests at no cost starting in early spring.
“Access to COVID diagnostic testing is especially critical for Medicare recipients, who are at higher risk for COVID-19 complications,” said Rep. Peters. “CMS’s announcement that they will provide full coverage to their beneficiaries for at-home testing is a commonsense, necessary step, and I look forward to continuing my work with colleagues to ensure all Americans have the tools they need to emerge from this pandemic.”
“Medicare recipients make up nearly one-fifth of all Americans. As the COVID virus continues to ravage our country, it makes no sense that some of our most vulnerable neighbors were on the hook to test themselves at home,” said Rep. Pascrell. “The Biden administration has made a commonsense decision to begin reimbursing Medicare beneficiaries for eight at-home tests per month. Giving Medicare beneficiaries this peace of mind will increase testing, decrease infection rates, and ultimately save lives.”
Broad access to diagnostic testing for COVID-19 is a critical component of a comprehensive strategy to effectively identify and mitigate the spread of this virus, especially as new variants continue to emerge. Yet, without comparable benefits available through the Medicare program, nearly 20 percent of the population would be made to pay out-of-pocket for COVID-19 tests.
The full text of the Pascrell, Peters’ January 14, 2022 letter to President Biden can be found HERE.