Social Security Update: Medicare finally to cover over-the-counter COVID-19 tests

Bill Belew

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Medicare finally to cover COVID-19 testsPhoto by Edward Jenner from Pexels

For several weeks lawmakers, advocates, and Medicare beneficiaries have been putting pressure on President Joe Biden and other federal agencies. They have aimed to get Medicare to pay for or cover at-home COVID-19 tests.

The fact is the pandemic is all but over. Furthermore, the increase in both Medicare costs and inflation has meant that many American citizens have a very tight budget. People over the age of 65, according to Waco Tribune-Herald, are at high risk of the pandemic.

Most of the American citizens rely on a fixed income - and are heavily reliant on Social Services' benefits to survive. They normally can't afford private health insurance. They run a continued health risk that they can't afford. In this regard, they can contract the COVID-19 virus and not be able to find out in time.

Good news for Medicare beneficiaries

It is good news that citizens on Medicare will soon be able to have their COVID-19 home testing kits covered. But sadly, this will come into full fruition weeks after private health plans have covered this for their beneficiaries.

At present, Medicare does not cover home testing kits, yet some 63 million older beneficiaries are at risk. From January 15, most Americans could get free home testing kits. However, these older beneficiaries were left out of the list.

Added pressure from AARP

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) just announced that they would conduct a program to start providing home testing kits. This course change has most probably come after the outcry from American Association of Retired Persons (AARP's) vice president Nancy LeaMond. She implored: "We know that people 65 and older are at much greater risk of serious illness and death from this disease ā€“ they need equal access to tools that can help keep them safe.". As a result, in at least another month, Medicare beneficiaries will have their COVID-19 home testing costs covered by the program.

At present, the plan is for Medicare to pay for up to eight at-home COVID-19 tests. Hopefully, this will reduce both the health risk involved with the pandemic and the economic cost of paying for tests.

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Bill Belew, Ph.D., is a professor of Social Media Marketing in Silicon Valley, CA. His sites have garnered more than 90,000,000 unique visitors total in many niches. He writes on all niches, including Personal Finance, Covid/Vaccine and US-China news

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