How Medicare covers Coronavirus

Health and wellness |

Think about virtual medical visits – for more than COVID-19

As you have likely heard more than once in recent weeks, the outbreak of the coronavirus (or COVID-19) has especially hit older adults.

Medicare reports: “older people may be twice as likely to have serious COVID-19 illness. This means that most people with Medicare are at higher risk.” This is particularly true for people who already have serious health conditions.

Medicare has released a customized guide to individuals on Medicare, which includes what it covers related to COVID-19:

  • Lab tests. With original Medicare, you will have no out-of-pocket costs. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, rules may differ.
  • Medically necessary hospitalizations. This is true even if you have been in the hospital for other reasons but then stay because the hospital is under quarantine.

Learn more at Medicare and Coronavirus.

Consider virtual medical appointments

While we go online for many services today, most of us still take for granted that we must see a doctor or other medical provider in person. Now is a good time to question that assumption.

Since staying away from people is highly recommended because COVID-19 is extremely contagious, telemedicine is worth considering for consultations with your doctor by phone or video.

Telemedicine has existed since the late 1950s but didn’t take off as a widespread offering until recent years. Health insurance plans, including Medicare, have begun covering this kind of alternative doctor visit.

Special rules apply to telemedicine, including for people in rural areas with less access to medical providers. Learn more at Virtual medical check-in.

Special instructions for older adults

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has produced a special guide about COVID-19 facts for older adults. It offers detailed good practices when you’re out in public where you have more exposure to the virus.

This guidance is more extensive than what’s offered to the general public, particularly for older adults with diabetes, heart disease or lung disease. Read more about it or watch a video on its guidance.

Member Services is open for members!

While our physical offices are closed to the public temporarily, we can still help you! Our Everence® Member Services team is available to help our Medicare Supplement members during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern Time), Monday to Friday.

Remember you have two ways to reach us:

Author

Judy Martin Godshalk
Marketing Manager, Health Plan Services