Missouri policy allows pharmacists to provide easier access to free or low-cost COVID-19 testing

Date: March 15, 2022

A standing order was issued Tuesday, March 15, 2022, by Missouri’s State Epidemiologist, Dr. George Turabelidze, which entitles individuals to receive coverage for purchased tests for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This policy authorizes Missouri pharmacies to charge an individual’s insurance carrier, whether it is private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare coverage, for COVID-19 testing.

“Those without a healthcare provider or who lack immediate access to healthcare will have the opportunity to seek testing close to home, for free or at a reduced cost,” said Paula Nickelson, Acting Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. “Dr. Turabelidze’s action is providing one more way we can ease the burden on consumers and the healthcare industry while also limiting spread of the virus in our communities.”

Testing options for COVID-19 have evolved considerably since the start of the pandemic and it remains a very important tool for limiting spread, and therefore decreasing instances of hospitalization and death.

From testing to vaccinations, pharmacists have played a vital role in Missouri during the COVID-19 pandemic. With Missouri’s broad network of pharmacists, these providers have localized COVID-19-related services, increasing accessibility to individuals in all areas of the state.

“The Missouri Pharmacy Association is excited for this standing order, as this will help pharmacists aid their communities in ensuring tests can be utilized to limit the spread of this virus,” said Ron Fitzwater, Chief Executive Officer of the Missouri Pharmacy Association.

Visit this CMS.gov site for more information regarding testing coverage or reimbursement, or to order free at-home testing kits, visit CovidTests.gov. Additional state testing resources can be found at health.mo.gov/communitytest.