When it comes to what Medicare covers for COVID-19, it can be helpful to see all your options laid out. Original Medicare is designed to cover basic aspects of care in hospitals and clinics, which means if you get sick with COVID-19 and have to go to the hospital it will be covered the same way as any other visit.
However, some people don’t realize Medicare also offers full coverage for a few specific COVID-related services. Here is our guide to the extra preventative care and treatment you have access to for COVID-19 as a Medicare enrollee:
What Medicare Covers for COVID-19 Tests
Tests for COVID-19 are covered under Medicare Part B. Regardless of what type of Medicare coverage you have, by law you cannot be charged a copay, coinsurance fee, or deductible for a lab test to diagnose COVID-19.
This test is determines whether an individual currently has COVID-19, and it can be performed in clinics, pharmacies, doctor’s offices, hospitals, or in some cases “parking lot” test sites. Medicare Part B will cover it fully in all these locations. Medicare Part B also fully covers respiratory testing for conditions associated with COVID-19 at the same time as this test, such as asthma or pneumonia tests.
What Medicare Covers for COVID-19 Vaccines
Medicare Part B is required by law to fully cover the COVID-19 vaccine at this time. You cannot be charged a copay, deductible, coinsurance fee, or administration fee by your medical provider for receiving one of the three FDA approved COVID-19 vaccines currently available.
To find out more about where to get the COVID-19 vaccine, be sure to check your local listings. Each individual state is in charge of how to administer the vaccine. Under the federal Medicare system every American is required to be covered financially for the vaccine, but how it’s being rolled out is up to local government.
What Medicare Covers for COVID-19 Antibody Tests
Original Medicare fully covers the FDA-authorized version of the COVID-19 antibody test. This is the test to determine if you have COVID-19 antibodies in your blood, which indicates you may not be immediately at risk of reinfection.
This test can be performed at blood labs, doctor’s offices, clinics, hospitals, and some pharmacies. This test is not needed by everyone, but it is fully covered by Medicare regardless—meaning by law you cannot be charged for getting this test. If you aren’t sure if it might benefit you to get it, consult your health provider to find out what you could learn from it.
What Medicare Covers for Monoclonal Antibody Treatments
Monoclonal antibody treatments are emergency COVID-19 treatments that infuse the body with monoclonal antibodies. These antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the proteins on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. These can help protect you by boosting your body’s natural immunity to the virus. They are fully covered by Medicare Part B under the following conditions:
- You tested positive for COVID-19
- You have a mild-to-moderate case of COVID-19
- You’re considered high risk for developing a severe case of COVID-19 or requiring hospitalization
If those three conditions apply, Medicare Part B will fully cover this treatment without a copay, coinsurance fee, or deductible. These treatments must be provided at FDA-approved sites by specialists to be covered by Medicare Part B.