CMS Announces COVID-19 Vaccine, Testing, and Counseling Policies

On December 2, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that CMS requires states to cover COVID-19 vaccine counseling visits in which health care providers talk to families about the importance of kids’ vaccination. CMS will match COVID-19 vaccine counseling-only visits at the American Rescue Plan (ARP) 100% federal match rate only when provided to children and youth under age 21 as part of the Medicaid Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit.


In addition, to expand access to and affordability of at-home COVID-19 tests, private insurers may reimburse the costs of over-the-counter COVID-19 diagnostic tests for individuals covered by private insurance.


CMS also issued a news alert encouraging those with Medicare who are fully vaccinated to get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. People with Medicare pay nothing when they get the COVID-19 vaccine and booster. There is no applicable copayment, coinsurance, or deductible.