Over-the-counter COVID-19 tests

Every household in the U.S. is eligible to order two sets of four free at-home COVID-19 tests per month through the federal government at COVIDTests.gov.

Free COVID-19 tests from the federal government may also be available at community health centers and Medicare-certified health clinics. Visit the CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) website to learn more about the free tests available through the federal government.

How to receive your tests

FDA approved over-the-counter COVID-19 antigen test coverage depends on the type of plan you have with Dean Health Plan.

Individual and family, group, or administrative services only plans

Effective Jan. 15, 2022, and for the duration of the national public health emergency, members are eligible for coverage of up to eight FDA-approved over-the-counter COVID-19 antigen tests every 30 days.

  1. Plan participants not using Navitus, Dean Health Plan's pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), should confirm their coverage with their PBM.
  2. Tests purchased to fulfill employer directed testing requirements are not eligible for reimbursement.
  3. Pre-ACA members with a pharmacy benefit carve out are eligible for coverage through us.

Pharmacy access

Members may receive their free over-the-counter COVID-19 antigen test at in-network pharmacies when purchases are made at the pharmacy counter with their member ID card.

If a member makes a retail purchase (e.g., at the front registers) the member will be charged out-of-pocket for the cost of COVID-19 tests but may seek direct reimbursement from Navitus, Dean Health Plan's pharmacy benefit manager. See the Member Reimbursement for COVID-19 tests section for more information.

Find an in-network pharmacy near you. Visit the Navitus website to see a full listing of their participating network of national chains, regional chains, and group pharmacies.

Direct-to-consumer shipping program

Members can order tests online or by phone. Tests are free through select mail order pharmacies when you provide your health plan coverage information found on your member ID card. Participating pharmacies are:

Serve You Rx: call (800) 759-3203

Costco Pharmacies
Instructions for the Costco website:
  1. Rollover the Pharmacy link in the top bar. Click Mail Order from the drop down menu.
  2. Register for a new account. (You do not need to be a Costco member to use their mail order service. A credit card is required because if you choose expedited shipping, you will need to pay shipping costs.
  3. Select: fill new prescription.
  4. Select: "My doctor will call or fax. I do not have a written prescription."
  5. In the physician info fields:
  • Enter physicians name: Costco Test
  • Enter physicians phone: (800) 111-1111
  • Enter physician city: Seattle
  • Enter physician state: WA
  • Enter drug information: COVID Test

Members who purchase COVID-19 antigen tests directly and wish to be reimbursed by Navitus must file a manual claim with them.

Each FDA-approved COVID-19 antigen test will be reimbursed at a rate up to $12 per individual test. Provider ordered COVID-19 tests, including provider ordered OTC PCR tests are eligible for coverage under standard plan benefits, and are not subject to the maximum benefit of 8 tests per member per month. Only over-the-counter antigen tests for personal uses are eligible for reimbursement.

  1. Plan participants not using Navitus, Dean Health Plan's pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), should confirm their coverage with their PBM.
  2. Tests purchased to fulfill employer directed testing requirements are not eligible for reimbursement.

BadgerCare Plus (Medicaid) plans

Effective Jan. 31, 2022, BadgerCare Plus members can get up to eight FDA-approved over-the-counter COVID-19 antigen tests through their pharmacy benefits without having to pay.

To get your free COVID-19 test, a valid prescription is required by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WI DHS). BadgerCare Plus members may use either a member's individual prescription or apply the standard order issued by Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer and state epidemiologist for the WI DHS.

For more information see ForwardHealth's Coverage of At-Home, Rapid COVID-19 Test Kits release.
Visit an in-network pharmacy with your prescription, or standing order, to receive your tests.

Medicare plans

Effective Apr. 4, 2022, Medicare members with Part B coverage, including those enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, will have coverage for up to eight over-the-counter COVID-19 antigen tests each calendar month, at no cost to them. This coverage will last throughout the national public health emergency. Tests must be billed to Medicare by a participating pharmacy or health care provider on behalf of the member; Medicare cannot accept claims submitted directly by a member.

Medicare will not cover over-the-counter COVID-19 tests for members that only have Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) coverage, but these members may be able to get free tests through other programs.

For more information on the CMS over-the-counter testing initiative, see the CMS FAQ.

Effective March 1, 2022, Dean Advantage members may use their OTC Network card to purchase over-the-counter COVID-19 antigen tests. See the over-the-counter allowance overview for general information about how to use your Medicare OTC benefits.

Medicare Part B members can access tests at any participating health care provider or pharmacy. Members should bring their red, white, and blue Medicare card to get their free tests (even if they 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.

Medicare cannot process a claim submitted directly by a beneficiary for a COVID-19 over-the-counter test. Participating pharmacies and health care providers will bill Medicare for the over-the-counter test on the member's behalf.

Medicare members can also access free tests through a number of channels established by the federal government. Medicare beneficiaries can:

Types of COVID-19 Tests

There are 2 types of COVID-19 diagnostic tests, PCR and antigen test. Both tests may be administered by a provider (including a pharmacy or testing site) or self-administered.

  • PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests detect the virus's genetic material. PCR tests require lab processing that typically takes a day or more for results.
  • Antigen tests, commonly referred to as rapid tests, detect specific proteins on the surface of the virus. Antigen test results are available in approximately 10-15 minutes.

listing of FDA-approved Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) COVID-19 antigen tests may be found on the FDA's website.

For more information about types of COVID-19 tests please visit the FDA's Coronavirus Disease 2019 Testing Basics page. 

View our Medicare disclaimer.

Updated: 4/29/22