Will Medicare Cover Covid-19

“Stephanie—You recently signed me up for Medicare supplement insurance and I need to know if I get sick with coronavirus will my Medicare plan cover me? Thanks—Sam from Sugar Land”

Hello, Sam. Your concerns echo those of many Americans presently on Medicare, and rightfully so. Medicare is working to address the spread of Covid-19 and keep those with Medicare informed about the services covered by Medicare. Generally speaking, Medicare coverage includes medically essential items and services that you receive from any provider that accepts Original Medicare or is in-network for your Medicare Advantage Plan. Medicare Advantage Plans must cover everything that Original Medicare covers, but they may do so with different costs and restrictions.

Amongst the services related to Covid-19 are:

Coronavirus testing: Testing is covered under Medicare Part B as a clinical laboratory test. Beginning on April 1, 2020, your doctor can bill Medicare for this test. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, then you should contact your plan’s service personnel to learn about its cost and coverage rules.Coronavirus vaccine: There is currently no vaccine for Covid-19. If a vaccine is developed, then it will be covered under Medicare Part D. All Part D plans will be required to cover the vaccine. How much you will owe for the vaccine will depend on the costs established by your drug plan.

Prescription refills: If you wish to refill your prescription(s) early so that you have extra medication on hand, then you should contact your Part D plan to learn what precisely is covered. Your plan may require extra approval before it covers early refills, and not every prescription can be refilled in advance. If you take medications covered by Original Medicare Part B, then you should seek advice from your doctor.

Services you receive from a physician or other provider (i.e. registered nurse) who visits your home: These services are covered under Medicare Part B, which also covers some services that are not face-to-face with a doctor, including check-in phone calls or assessments using your doctor’s online patient portal.

Telehealth services: A telehealth service is a comprehensive physician visit using either telephone or video technology. Part B generally only covers telehealth services for people who live in rural areas and receive services in certain healthcare settings, rather than at home. However, Congress has waived some of the restrictions on telehealth. Medicare Advantage Plans may also cover additional telehealth benefits, including telehealth benefits in the home. If a beneficiary has a Medicare Advantage Plan, then they should contact their plan to learn more.

Note that if you have both Medicare and Medicaid, then Medicaid may cover additional services as long as you visit providers that accept Medicaid. Certain cost and coverage changes may occur, so be sure to visit www.medicare.gov for the most up-to-date information. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan or Part D plan, then be aware that plans must also work to maintain healthcare and prescription drug access during emergencies.

If you or anyone you know is confused about Medicare, turning 65, or coming off of company benefits, then please call us at 832-953-4229 for a FREE consultation and guidance on how Medicare and supplemental insurance works, or visit us at https://sylegacy.net/medicare.