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Medicare Beneficiaries Are Now Eligible for Free Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Tests

As of spring 2022, Medicare will cover up to eight OTC COVID-19 tests a month per beneficiary — but our recent survey found only 1 in 3 seniors are aware of this new benefit

When the government announced that all American households would be eligible for four free at-home COVID-19 tests back in January 2022 — at the height of the Omicron variant — the news was everywhere. But another announcement, specifically for Medicare beneficiaries, followed soon after in February, and it seems to have flown under the radar. Beneficiaries with Medicare Part B are now eligible to receive up to eight over-the-counter COVID-19 tests a month. The tests, which can be picked up at eligible pharmacies or other participating locations, are now available as of Spring 2022.

GoHealth survey results


GoHealth conducted a survey of 1,029 older adults who are currently enrolled in Medicare, and found that awareness of this new COVID-19 testing benefit was low — only 36% of those surveyed were aware of it. That number is striking when compared to their awareness of the at-home tests for all Americans announced in January — 77% of survey respondents were aware of the availability of those tests.

However, interest in this new benefit was high. As 68% of respondents expressed they were still at least somewhat concerned about COVID-19, this appears to be very welcome news.



are planning to pick up the free COVID-19 tests



think eight tests each month will be enough for their testing needs



don’t anticipate having any difficulties picking up the tests


While 65% of those surveyed would prefer the tests be mailed to them, rather than picking them up at participating pharmacies and other locations, they seem comfortable with at-home tests on the whole.



prefer at at-home tests to testing in a clinic



said they felt somewhat comfortable to extremely comfortable administering at-home COVID-19 tests


Although there is a knowledge gap about these free tests for Medicare beneficiaries, GoHealth’s survey found that seniors are interested in this new benefit, and are likely to take advantage of it when they learn about it.                  

How GoHealth Can Help

  • Are there other benefits you aren’t aware of? GoHealth’s team of licensed insurance agents is here to help you maximize your Medicare benefits and ensure you are in the right plan for your needs. Also, our Medicare Beneficiary Guide is available online to answer your questions and help you understand how Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage can work for you.
  • Do you need transportation assistance? Some Medicare Advantage plans offer assistance with transportation, including to doctor’s appointments and to the pharmacy. If this is a benefit that could be useful to you, GoHealth can help you find a plan in your area that would be the best fit.
  • Stay up to date on Medicare. We know Medicare inside and out, and want to pass that knowledge on to you. Visit us at or follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay in-the-know on the latest happenings in the world of Medicare.
Seniors and Covid-19 Testing Survey Report Cover Image

Download the full “Seniors & COVID-19 Testing” survey results here.

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