What Medicare Will Cover?

Medicare and the CoronavirusTesting
Medicare Part B covers a test to check if you have the coronavirus. The test will be covered when your doctor or other health care provider orders it. You will pay no out-of-pocket costs.

If you are diagnosed with the virus, Medicare will cover all medically necessary hospitalizations. Please note that all deductibles and copays will be applicable. It should also be noted that most people who are infected with the virus do not require hospitalization and are able to recover at home.

As I write this article there is no vaccine for the virus. Should one become available it will be covered by all Medicare Prescription (Part D) drug plans. Deductibles and copays may apply.

Effective March 6, 2020, Medicare will temporarily expand its coverage of Medicare telehealth services.  Previously, telehealth was covered only for people who lived in rural areas. Expanding the coverage means that people will be able to get coverage from more places, including their homes using a wider range of devices and communication tools, which includes Skype and smartphones.

You will be able to interact with licensed clinical social workers, clinical physiologists, nurse practitioners and, of course, doctors.

During this expanded coverage period you will be able to receive specific services through telehealth, which include preventive health screenings, mental health counseling, and evaluation and management visits.

There are three different types of Medicare telehealth services:

  • Medicare telehealth visits
    CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) requires a Medicare telehealth visit to use real-time audio and video between providers and patients and would replace an in-person office visit.
  • Virtual check-In
    Virtual check-ins are brief communications between established providers and patients and do not require both audio and video. Examples of a virtual check-in would be an email or text message initiated by patients to their health care provider.
  • E-visits
    E-visits are used only between healthcare providers and their existing patients and would be delivered through the provider’s electronic patient portal.

Beware of Scammers
Scam artist are preying on people’s fears, peddling fake tests and vaccines for the coronavirus. According to some reports they are even offering “Senior Care Packages” with hand sanitizer and other items.

Some scammers are falsely claiming that President Trump has ordered all seniors to be tested. It is all just a trick to get your Medicare number by offering to send you a test kit or a “Senior Care Package,” which does not exist.

More Information
If you would like to read more information on Medicare and the Coronavirus click the link below.
Medicare and the Coronavirus

If you are approaching your Medicare enrollment date and are worried that you may not be able to get the Medicare coverage you need, call or email me. I can meet with you virtually using a computer or just using a phone for your appointment and/or enrollment into a plan. No new devices or technology needed.

Medicare Explained in Plain English