Medicare Covers 8 Home COVID-19 Tests Per Month

By Cher Thomas

As people living with chronic kidney disease, it appears we will forever need to be diligent about COVID 19 testing and prevention.  A few months ago, people could request four free at home tests at no charge.  But, as the general population begin to socialize more frequently, those of us at high risk may need more than four at home tests to determine our risk during multiple situations. To help Medicare patients manage the cost of testing, Medicare has a new initiative that will cover up to eight over the counter COVID-19 tests each calendar month, at no cost to patients. Medicare Covers Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Tests | CMS

Getting the new tests is as easy as the first. The second round of at home COVID 19 tests can be ordered by calling 800-232-0233 (TTY 888-720-7489) or at this link . The kits are sent through First-Class Package Service, and by Priority Mail to Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. territories and military addresses. People who request kits can track their package online and receive status updates via an Informed Delivery notification feature.

Home tests, also called self-testing, give rapid results, and can be used anywhere, whether you are vaccinated, or even if you don’t have symptoms.  Self-tests do not detect if you’ve had a previous COVID 19 infection, nor do they measure a person’s level of immunity. But, they can give you some peace of mind when you have an interaction with someone who could have COVID 19 infection.

If you’ve been exposed to someone, who may have an active COVID 19 infection you should be tested with a home kit by the fifth day of exposure. If you test negative, consider taking a second test 1-2 days after your first test. Find out more about why and how to use a home COVID 19 test at Self-Testing At Home or Anywhere | CDC.  A special thank you to Janine Grinta for calling this update to our attention.


Cher Thomas, RDHis a registered dental hygienist and a renal transplant recipient. After her kidneys failed due to ANCA positive vasculitis, in 1999 her brother became her kidney donor. Cher utilizes her experience with peritoneal dialysis and organ transplantation to explore the relationship between oral and renal health. She lives in Galveston, Texas.

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