Medicare & Coronavirus

Get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can.

  • Medicare covers the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to you. Medicare covers the vaccine for anyone 5 and older who has Medicare due to their age, a disability, End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), or ALS (also called Lou Gehrig’s disease). Be sure to bring your Medicare card.
  • Medicare covers a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot at no cost to you. You can get a booster from the same COVID-19 vaccine that you originally got, or choose a different one.
    • If you got a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you can get a booster shot at least 5 months after you complete your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine series.
    • If you got a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, you can get a booster shot at least 2 months after you got your first shot.
    • Learn more about who should get a booster shot.
  • If you’re immunocompromised (like people who have had an organ transplant and are at risk for infections and other diseases), Medicare will cover an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, at least 28 days after a second dose, at no cost to you. Note: Don’t mix vaccines. If your first two doses were Pfizer, your third dose should also be Pfizer. If your first two doses were Moderna, your third dose should also be Moderna.
  • If you’re 50 and older, or if you’re moderately to severely immunocompromised, you may get a second COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, at no cost to you, at least 4 months after your first booster. Your second booster must be a Pfizer or Moderna booster. It doesn’t need to be the same as your initial COVID-19 vaccine.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Get details about the vaccine.
  • If you have Medicare and have a disability or face other challenges in getting to a location away from home for a vaccination, Medicare will pay a doctor or other care provider to give you the COVID-19 vaccine in your home. You may need to give them your Medicare Number for billing, but there’s still no cost to you for the vaccine and its administration. Get details about the vaccine at home.

Find Vaccine Near Me

Medicare wants to help protect you from COVID-19:

Medicare covers items & services related to COVID-19

COVID-19 Over-the-Counter (OTC) tests

As of April 4, 2022, Medicare covers up to 8 over-the-counter COVID-19 tests each calendar month, at no cost to you. This coverage continues until the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) ends. Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) will cover these tests if you have Part B. If you are in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you won’t get this benefit through your plan, but will get it like you would if you weren’t enrolled in the plan. You might need to show your red, white, and blue Medicare card to get your free over-the-counter COVID-19 tests (even if you have another card for a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Part D plan).

How many over-the-counter tests can I get at no cost?

Each person with Medicare Part B can get up to 8 free over-the-counter tests for the month of April any time before April 30, and can then get another set of 8 free over-the-counter tests for each calendar month that follows until the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

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 8 covered over-the-counter COVID-19 tests in any calendar month, you will be responsible for the costs of the additional tests that calendar month. This means that the pharmacy or health care provider might ask you to pay for them. There may be more than 1 test per box, so 8 tests may come in fewer than 8 boxes.

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 or insurance coverage you may have.

How do I get these tests?

You can get the covered tests at any participating eligible pharmacy or health care provider at no cost to you, even if you aren’t a current customer or patient.

The following is a partial list* of pharmacies participating in the Medicare COVID-19 Over-the-Counter (OTC) tests initiative. Go to the pharmacy website or call the relevant pharmacy for details on participating locations and how to order.

Note: By clicking links in the section below, you will be leaving the Medicare.gov website. These external links are not the responsibility of, or under the control of, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). These links may be to non-Federal government websites (.gov). CMS disclaims responsibility for the content and privacy policies of non-.gov websites.

Looking for a pharmacy that is not listed above?

  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). to find access to free tests. TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.
  • Check with your pharmacy or healthcare provider to see if they are participating and will bill Medicare on your behalf.

* This is a partial list of organizations that have committed to participating in the new COVID-19 over-the-counter test initiative for people with Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance). If you are a pharmacy participating in the initiative and would like to be listed on this page, email Partnership@cms.hhs.gov.

Are there other ways I can get COVID-19 tests?

Medicare also covers COVID-19 tests you get from a laboratory, pharmacy, doctor, or hospital, and when a doctor or other authorized health care professional orders it. You can also get up to one lab-performed test during the COVID-19 public health emergency without an order, at no cost to you.

Some Medicare Advantage Plans may cover and pay for at-home over-the-counter COVID-19 tests as an added benefit. Check with your plan to see if it will cover and pay for these tests. If you get a test through your plan this way, you can still access up to 8 tests a month through the Medicare initiative apart from your Medicare Advantage Plan.

You can also get COVID-19 tests through these initiatives:

If you paid to get a COVID-19 vaccine

When you get a COVID-19 vaccine, your provider can’t charge you for an office visit or other fee if the vaccine is the only medical service you get. If you get other medical services at the same time you get the COVID-19 vaccine, you may owe a copayment or deductible for those services.

If you paid a fee or got a bill for a COVID-19 vaccine, check this list to see if your provider should have charged you:

  • Check the receipts and statements you get from your provider for any mistakes.
  • Call your provider’s office to ask about any charges you think are incorrect. The person you speak to may help you better understand the services you got, or realize they made a billing error.
  • If you have Original Medicare, review your “Medicare Summary Notice” for errors. Report anything suspicious to Medicare by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
  • If you have other coverage like a Medicare Advantage Plan, review your “Explanation of Benefits.” Report anything suspicious to your insurer.

If you think your provider incorrectly charged you for the COVID-19 vaccine, ask them for a refund. If you think your provider charged you for an office visit or other fee, but the only service you got was a COVID-19 vaccine, report them to the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by calling 1-800-HHS-TIPS or visiting TIPS.HHS.GOV.

Be alert for scammers trying to steal your Medicare Number

Medicare covers the vaccine at no cost to you, so if anyone asks you for your Medicare Number to get the vaccine or to get a free COVID-19 test, you can bet it’s a scam.

Scammers may use the COVID-19 public health emergency to take advantage of people while they’re distracted. As always, guard your Medicare card like a credit card, check Medicare claims summary forms for errors. If someone calls asking for your Medicare Number, hang up.

How to stay up to date

  • CDC.gov/coronavirus has the latest public health and safety information from CDC and for the overarching medical and health provider community on COVID-19.
  • USA.gov has the latest information about what the U.S. Government is doing in response to COVID-19.

Find out who to call about Medicare options, claims and more.