Never Too Late - August 2022

Medicare Corner

Medicare will cover up to eight over-the- counter COVID-19 tests each calendar month, at no cost to you

Fraud Surrounding COVID-19 is Increasing (continued from previous page)

Who’s eligible? Medicare beneficiaries who have Part B, including those enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. If you are in a Medicare Advantage plan, the tests covered under this initiative will be covered outside of your existing plan’s coverage, and in addition to any over-the-counter tests that may be covered under the plan as a supplemental benefit. Medicare won’t cover over-the-counter COVID-19 tests if you only have Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) coverage, but you may be able to get free tests through other programs. How can I get tests through this initiative? You can get over-the-counter COVID-19 tests at any pharmacy or health care provider that participates in this initiative. Check with your pharmacy or health care provider to see if they are participating. If so, they can provide your tests and will bill Medicare on your behalf. A partial list of participating pharmacies can be found at coronavirus. You should bring your red, white, and blue Medicare card to get your free tests (even if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Part D plan), but the pharmacy may be able to get the information it needs to bill Medicare without the card. Do I have to change pharmacies to get a free test? No. You can get your free over-the- counter COVID-19 tests from any eligible pharmacy or health care provider that voluntarily participates in this initiative, even if you aren’t a current customer or patient. Getting your tests won’t impact any prescriptions you have in place.

Will I have to pay anything to get over- the-counter COVID-19 tests in this initiative? No, you won’t have to pay as long as you go to an eligible pharmacy or health care provider that participates in this initiative. However, if you get more than the eight covered over-the-counter COVID-19 tests in any calendar month, Medicare will not pay for additional over-the-counter tests in that month. You may be responsible for the cost of additional tests that calendar month unless you have additional health coverage. If have additional coverage, you should check whether they will cover any additional tests obtained beyond the Medicare quantity limit. This means that the pharmacy or health care provider might ask you to pay for them. Note tests are sometimes packaged with more than one test per box, so eight tests may come in fewer than eight boxes. Do I have to wait a certain amount of time before I can get another eight over-the- counter tests through Medicare? Starting April 4, 2022, this initiative covers up to eight over-the-counter COVID-19 tests each calendar month. If you’ve gotten eight of these tests in the current calendar month, you will need to wait until the beginning of the next calendar month to get more tests. For example, if you receive eight over-the-counter COVID-19 tests on April 14, 2022, through this initiative, you will not be eligible for another round of eight free over-the- counter COVID-19 tests until May 1, 2022. Note that there can be multiple tests per box, so eight tests may come in fewer than eight boxes. For more information, contact PCOA Medicare at (520) 546-2011

• You cannot buy a vaccine card, make your own, or fill in blank vaccination record cards with false information. It is considered an unauthorized use of an official government agency’s logo/ seal. This is a crime. Here are things you need to know about COVID-19 testing schemes: • Be cautious of any COVID-19 testing site that requires your financial or medical information in order to receive a free test. • Be mindful of advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatments on social media platforms. If you make an appointment for a COVID-19 test online, make sure the location is an approved testing site. • Be careful! Scammers are selling fake and unauthorized at-home COVID-19 test kits in exchange for your personal or medical information. Make sure to purchase FDA approved. Pima Council on Aging is your local SMP. SMPs empower and assist Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud, errors, and abuse. You can reach PCOA SMP counselor at (520) 546-2011 . Source: Content/Medicare-Fraud/SMP-Consumer- Fraud-Alerts/SMP-Consumer-Fraud-Alert- COVID-19.aspx

This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MPPG0022, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official acl policy.

Page 6 | August 2022, Never Too Late

Pima Council on Aging

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