IMPORTANT: Are you enrolled in Medi-Cal? Has your contact information changed in the past two years? Give your county office your updated contact information so you can stay enrolled. Go to benefitscal.com or call the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services at 1-866-613-3777

Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Rapid Tests for Cal MediConnect Members

Medicare will cover up to eight (8) over-the-counter COVID-19 rapid antigen tests per month at no cost, through participating pharmacies. Please visit the Medicare website for a partial list of participating pharmacies. 

Cal MediConnect members can also use their quarterly $125 Over-the-Counter (OTC) benefit allowance to purchase FDA-approved COVID-19 rapid antigen tests online at Walmart.com or in-store at participating retailers. Please visit Healthy Benefits Plus to order your tests online or to see a list of participating retail locations. See our Frequently Asked Questions below for more details.

Content CTA: 
How many over-the-counter tests will Medicare cover at no cost?

Medicare will cover up to eight (8) over-the-counter COVID-19 rapid antigen tests per month at no cost for Cal MediConnect members, through participating pharmacies until the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

How do I get the over-the-counter tests covered by Medicare at no cost?

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. You should bring your red, white, and blue Medicare card to get your free tests, but the pharmacy may be able to get the information it needs to bill Medicare without the card.

For a partial list of pharmacies participating in the Medicare COVID-19 Over-the-Counter (OTC) tests initiative, visit the Medicare website.

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.

Can I use my over the counter (OTC) allowance benefit on COVID-19 rapid tests?

Cal MediConnect members can use their quarterly $125 Over the Counter (OTC) benefit allowance to purchase FDA-approved COVID-19 rapid antigen tests online at Walmart.com or in-store at participating retailers. Please visit Healthy Benefits Plus to order your tests online or to see a list of participating retail locations.

What COVID-19 tests can I purchase with my OTC allowance?

FDA approved, over-the-counter COVID-19 rapid antigen tests. Please consult with your pharmacist to confirm FDA approval.

Where can Cal MediConnect beneficiaries purchase an over-the-counter COVID-19 test?

Cal MediConnect beneficiaries may obtain an over-the-counter COVID-19 test using their quarterly OTC allowance online at Walmart.com or in-store at participating retailers. Please visit Healthy Benefits Plus to order your tests online or to see a list of participating retail locations.

How can I find a store that accepts my OTC allowance card?

Please visit Healthy Benefits Plus to find a directory of stores where you can use your OTC allowance benefit.

How much of my OTC allowance benefit can I use to purchase COVID-19 rapid tests?

Cal MediConnect beneficiaries may use up to the total of their $125 quarterly OTC allowance to purchase FDA-approved COVID-19 rapid tests at eligible locations. Please visit Healthy Benefits Plus to order your tests online or to see a list of participating retail locations.

Do I have to get the tests at the same time?

No. You can get the tests year-round with your quarterly $125 OTC allowance.

Do my benefits cover COVID-19 lab tests ordered by my doctor?

Yes. Cal MediConnect covers COVID-19 lab tests ordered by a healthcare provider. Please contact your provider for details. There are no prior approvals needed for provider-administered COVID-19 screenings, evaluations, or testing.

How long will I be able to use my OTC allowance for COVID-19 rapid tests?

You will be able to utilize your OTC benefit to purchase FDA-approved COVID-19 rapid antigen tests year-round with your quarterly $125 allowance.

Can I use these tests for my employer mandated testing?

No. The OTC allowance does not cover tests, including over-the-counter COVID-19 tests, that are for employment purposes. Please contact your employer for its COVID-19 testing guidelines.

Can I get reimbursed for out-of-pocket tests I purchase on or after 2/1/22 at a retail store?

No. Cal MediConnect does not reimburse Over-the-Counter COVID-19 tests purchased out-of-pocket. However, you may use your OTC benefit allowance to purchase Over-the-Counter COVID-19 tests. You may also request up to four COVID-19 rapid antigen tests via COVIDtests.gov at no cost.

What if I cannot find an over-the-counter COVID-19 test, and I need to be tested?
There is currently a nationwide shortage of over-the-counter COVID-19 tests. You can call local network pharmacies in your area to find out if the tests are in stock.
 
  • You may also schedule a test (e.g. Antigen or PCR) at a testing site near your home. Please visit the County's Testing website to find a testing site near you. 
     
  • Starting on January 19, you will be able to order an over-the-counter COVID-19 rapid antigen test at COVIDtests.gov, at no cost. For those who have difficulty accessing the Internet or need additional support placing an order, call their COVID-19 Vaccination Assistance Hotline at 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489).