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Beacon Senior News

COVID-19 and Medicare

May 05, 2020 11:13AM ● By Beacon Senior News

Are you wondering if Medicare covers needs related to COVID-19? Here’s a partial list:

  • Medicare covers the lab tests for COVID-19. You pay no out-of-pocket costs.
  • Medicare covers all medically necessary hospitalizations. This includes if you're diagnosed with COVID-19 and need to stay in the hospital under quarantine when you might have otherwise been discharged from the hospital after an inpatient stay.
  • There's no vaccine for COVID-19 at this time. However, if one becomes available, it will be covered by all Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D).
  • If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan (MA), you have access to these same benefits. Medicare allows these plans to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 lab tests. Many MA plans offer additional telehealth benefits beyond the ones described below. Check with your plan about your coverage and costs.
  • Scammers may use the COVID-19 pandemic to take advantage of people while they’re distracted. As always, guard your Medicare card like a credit card, check Medicare claims summary forms for errors, and if someone calls asking for your Medicare number, hang up!

Telehealth services

In response to the current public health emergency, Medicare has temporarily expanded its coverage of telehealth services so you can have increased access to more providers from your home. You can use more communication tools than ever before (including smartphones) and interact with a range of providers such as doctors, nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers.

During this time, you will be able to receive a specific set of services through telehealth including evaluation and management visits (common office visits), mental health counseling and preventive health screenings without a copayment if you have Original Medicare. This will help ensure you are able to visit with your doctor without having to go to a doctor’s office or hospital, which puts you and others at risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Other resources

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) set up a webpage with information for Medicare beneficiaries related to COVID-19. Visit www.medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus for the latest information.

You should also visit:

Coronavirus.gov for the latest information about COVID-19 prevention and symptoms as well as answers to frequently asked questions.

CDC.gov/coronavirus for the latest public health and safety information from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

USA.gov has the latest information about what the U.S. Government is doing in response to COVID-19.

If you have questions about Medicare, call the temporary RSVP SHIP phone number at 200-4616. SHIP navigators are currently working from home to meet your Medicare needs.