With the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affecting Americans, a lot of seniors and disabled people might want to confirm that whether the Medicare plans cover coronavirus or not. However, the simple answer to this is that yes Medicare plans do cover for the COVId-19 tests and treatments. Medicare plans enrollees should be aware that COVID-19 lab tests and the hospitalization costs are covered by Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Lab testing for coronavirus is free and there are also zero out-of-pocket expenses, copays or co-insurance, either for the test itself or for relevant office visits. Though coronavirus treatment is a different issue and is generally subjected to the beneficiary’s plan.
However, if Medicare beneficiaries have any dependent children below 16 years of age, then the children will be covered by CHIP, and depending upon their state legislation may be eligible for free coronavirus testing and treatment. Medicaid beneficiaries need to check with their local benefits office for the coronavirus coverage. Medicare beneficiaries on having the three symptoms of COVID-19 such as dry continuous cough, high temperature, and breathing difficulty should immediately call their healthcare provider to seek the proper treatment for the virus. People having a Medicare Advantage plan have access to COVID-19 lab tests and medically necessary hospitalizations, though people need to check with the plan provider for the actual coverage and costs of the treatment.
Coronavirus Coverage for Medicare Beneficiaries include:
Medicare beneficiaries do not have to pay any out-of-pocket costs, and the coverage includes both the coronavirus test and the doctor’s visit in which the test was administered.
Medically necessary hospitalizations
Medicare beneficiaries also have access to extended hospital stays, which may have resulted because beneficiaries have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and they need to stay in the hospital for some more time. They might otherwise have been discharged from the hospital after their prior inpatient stay.
Prescription Drug Costs
All Medicare Part D plans will provide coverage for the anti-viral treatment or injections costs when a coronavirus vaccine has been made and approved.
Beneficiaries of Medicare Advantage plans enjoy similar benefits as of Original Medicare, though they need to check the terms of their plans with their insurers. Besides these, Advantage plans may also include telehealth benefits. People need to check with their plans for their coverage and costs. Medicare Advantage plans are also allowed to waive off cost-sharing costs for COVID-19 lab tests.
On March 18th, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was passed through the House and Senate, which extends coronavirus coverage to beneficiaries of Medicaid and group health insurance plans for free testing. As per the American Action Forum estimates, the federal government is approximately spending $1.3 billion for testing and around $56.3 billion for other Medicaid costs. Thus, Medicare beneficiaries need to understand the true value of their Medicare card. Due to the scare of COVID-19 people can become victims of the fraudsters and so they need to treat their Medicare card with the same level of security as their credit cards.
Telehealth & related services
Medicare temporarily has expanded coverage of telehealth services in response to the increase in demand for medical services. To help people have access from more places including their home, the current telehealth covered services were expanded that allowed people to have a wider range of communication tools and enable them to interact with a range of healthcare providers. During this time people will be able to receive some specific services like evaluation and management visits, mental health counseling, and preventive health screenings through telehealth. This ensures that people can visit a doctor right from the comfort of their home, without having to visit a doctor’s office or hospitals that put them and others at the risk of COVID-19 exposure.