Newest Coronavirus Information
TUESDAY, April 5, 2022 (HealthDay Information) – Medicare introduced Monday that seniors can now stroll into most drug shops and get a free over-the-counter COVID check.
“For the primary time in its historical past, Medicare is paying for an over-the-counter check,” Deputy Administrator Dr. Meena Seshamani, director of the Heart for Medicare, stated in a news release on the announcement. “It is because COVID-19 testing is a crucial a part of our pandemic response. Mixed with the free over-the-counter exams obtainable by way of covidtests.gov, this initiative will considerably improve testing entry for People most susceptible to COVID-19.”
Now the 59 million People lined by Medicare Half B can rise up to eight free, at-home exams every month from any supplier that gives them, the Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Providers stated within the information launch.
“That is all a part of our total technique to ramp up entry to easy-to-use, at-home exams freed from cost,” Well being and Human Providers Secretary Xavier Becerra stated within the CMS information launch. “Since we took workplace, we have now greater than tripled the variety of websites the place individuals can get COVID-19 exams without cost, and we’re additionally delivering near 250 million at-home, speedy exams to ship without cost to People who want them….With at this time’s step, we’re additional increasing medical insurance protection of free over-the-counter exams to Medicare beneficiaries, together with our nation’s aged and folks with disabilities.”
Taking part suppliers in this system embrace Albertsons Corporations Inc., Costco Pharmacy, CVS, Meals Lion, Large Meals, The Large Firm, Hannaford Pharmacies, H-E-B Pharmacy, Hy-Vee Pharmacy, Kroger Household of Pharmacies, Ceremony Help Corp., Store & Cease, Walgreens and Walmart, the company stated.
Greater than 64 million older people and folks with disabilities are insured by Medicare. The free, over-the-counter check program will proceed till all through the COVID-19 public well being emergency.
How lengthy the general public well being emergency will proceed depends upon what COVID variants do sooner or later.
Proper now, all eyes are on the “stealth” BA.2 Omicron subvariant, which accounts for simply over 72 % of U.S. COVID instances, CDC data reveals. The unique Omicron variant triggered a surge that was the most important spike but in virus instances, however these numbers have dropped to the bottom ranges seen since final summer season’s Delta variant unfold all through the nation.
Many Medicare beneficiaries are additionally now additionally eligible for a second booster shot, which the FDA approved final week for individuals age 50 and older and people with weakened immune techniques.
The U.S. Covid web site has extra on COVID-19.
SOURCE: CBS Information
By Cara Murez and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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