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March 30, 2021

Medicare covers testing for COVID-19 with no out-of-pocket costs and the deductible does not apply when the test is ordered by your doctor or other health care provider. You’re covered for tests you get from a laboratory, pharmacy, doctor or hospital.

If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you have access to the same benefits as Medicare. Medicare allows these plans to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 lab tests with no prior authorization.

Types of tests

COVID-19 tests are available that can test for current infection or past infection.

  • viral test tells you if you have a current infection. Two types of viral tests can be used: nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) and antigen tests.
  • An antibody test (also known as a serology test) might tell you if you had a past infection. Antibody tests should not be used to diagnose a current infection.

How to get tested for current COVID-19 infection

Contact your healthcare provider or visit your statetriballocal, and territorial health department’s website to find the latest local information on testing. The type of viral COVID-19 tests offered may differ by location.

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