Medication to Treat COVID-19
People who test positive for COVID-19 and are at higher risk of becoming very sick may benefit from available COVID-19 medications. These treatments can help prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. Talk to your health care provider right away if you test positive and are at higher risk as the medications need to be started early to work best. Your health care provider will help determine which COVID-19 medication option is best for you. COVID-19 medications are available to anyone regardless of immigration status and it will not impact your ability to become a permanent resident.
COVID-19 medications are not a substitute for prevention. Everyone who is eligible should get vaccinated and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Getting medications for COVID-19
There are two ways to get COVID-19 medications if you are at higher risk of becoming very sick from COVID-19. • Talk to a health care provider to learn if you qualify for COVID-19 medication and where to get it. • Find Test to Treat locations that offer COVID-19 testing and free medication at one location. COVID-19 medications must be started within five to seven days of symptoms starting to work best. If you have symptoms, get tested. See the next sections for more information on testing and where to get the medications.
How to get tested
Get tested and treated for COVID-19 at your health care provider’s office. If you have a regular health care provider that you see, ask if you can get tested and treated at an appointment.
Test with an at-home test or at another testing site, for example, a community testing site.
Free at-home tests are available from the federal government at Get free at-home COVID-19 tests (www.covid.gov/tests) or call 1-800-232-0233. If you are enrolled in Medicare part B, you can order 8 additional free at-home tests.
Find COVID-19 testing locations (mn.gov/covid19/get-tested/testing-locations/index.jsp).
After getting a positive test, talk to your health care provider or find a clinic, or test to treat site, to receive a prescription from a qualified health care provider. Some health systems and Test to Treat sites also have telehealth options available.
Get tested for COVID-19 at a Test to Treat location. At a Test to Treat location, you can get tested for COVID-19 and if you test positive, the on-site health care provider will check if you are eligible to get a prescription for COVID-19 oral antiviral pills. They will prescribe and fill the prescription in the same visit. Bring any medications (or a list of the medications you are currently taking) with you to your appointment. Visit COVID-19 Test to Treat Locator (covid-19-test-to-treat-locator-dhhs.hub.arcgis.com).
Where to find treatment medications
Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) website. Find participating clinics and pharmacies across Minnesota at Where to Access Oral Antiviral Therapy (www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/hcp/medsaccess.html).
Test to Treat locator. You can also go online to access the federal government’s Test to Treat locator in:
English COVID-19 Test to Treat Locator - English (covid-19-test-to-treat-locator-dhhs.hub.arcgis.com)
Spanish COVID-19 Test to Treat Locator - Es (covid-19-test-to-treat-locator-es-dhhs.hub.arcgis.com)
Mandarin COVID-19 Test to Treat Locator - Mandarin (covid-19-test-to-treat-locator-zh-dhhs.hub.arcgis.com)
Hotlines are available to help answer your questions in English and other languages and to direct you to resources for testing and treatment:
MDH COVID-19 Public Hotline. Call 1-833-431-2053, Monday–Friday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. People are available to speak to you in English, Hmong, Somali, Spanish, Karen, and many other languages.
Federal Test to Treat Hotline. Call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489). The hotline is available seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. People are available to help in more than 150 languages.
Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL). Call 1-888-677-1199, Monday–Friday, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., or email DIAL@usaginganddisability.org, for help accessing services for people with disabilities.
Find free or low-cost health care
People who do not have insurance may be able to find free or low-cost treatment in their communities at a federally funded health center or community health center. For a list of centers, go to HRSA: Find a Health Center (findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/tool). For more information in many languages, visit Resources to Find Low-Cost Health Care or get Health Insurance (www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/materials/lowcost.html).
The MDH COVID-19 Public Hotline can help you understand treatment and medication options, direct you to resources, and provide language assistance. Call 1-833-431-2053, Monday–Friday: 9 a.m. to7 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cost of COVID-19 medications
There is currently no cost for most COVID-19 medications, which means patients do not have to pay for the medication itself. Pharmacies cannot charge a fee directly to a patient for filling the prescription. But there may be other fees associated with getting the treatment that a person or an insurance company would need to pay. For example, a clinic may charge for services associated with administering a treatment. Patients may have a copay for these services, depending on their insurance type. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist if you have any questions about costs associated with receiving a particular medication.
Coverage of treatment fees or costs
Medicare Part D covers any prescription medications used to treat COVID-19.
Medicaid fully covers monoclonal antibody treatments during the public health emergency.
Check your insurance plan, as many large private insurance plans cover costs.
If you do not have insurance, find free or low-cost care at a federally funded clinics or community care clinic in Minnesota. Learn more at Find a Health Center – Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers (mnachc.org/community-health-centers/find-a-health-center).