Biden administration seeks Medicare coverage of at-home COVID-19 tests

President Joe Biden is exploring requiring coverage of at-home COVID-19 tests for Medicare beneficiaries in addition to private commercial members, according to a Jan. 26 report from The Wall Street Journal

The administration has received pressure from lawmakers and researchers to expand coverage, and some health insurers have decided to broaden coverage beyond the federal requirements, which were outlined Jan. 10. 

While options to expand coverage are limited, the Journal reports the administration is trying to navigate current regulations that bar coverage for self-administered tests for the 76 million people on Medicare. 

"Over-the-counter tests have not been paid for as a Medicare benefit, but we’re going through the process now to explore options and work through statutory and regulatory issues as we drive toward solutions," Meena Seshamani, MD, PhD, director of the Center for Medicare and deputy CMS administrator, told the Journal.

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