With the coronavirus pandemic still affecting our everyday lives, it’s important to know what exactly is covered by your Medicare plan. From testing and the COVID-19 vaccine to Medicare telehealth, here’s a guide to coronavirus-related services that are covered by Medicare.
Stay Up-to-Date with COVID-19 Information
With COVID-19 changing everyday and so many different outlets to find information, it’s crucial to know you have the most up-to-date info. One of the best sources to rely on is the Center for Disease Control (also known as the CDC) which can be found at CDC.gov. From testing to vaccines, the CDC offers various resources to help you access COVID-19-related services and information.
List of Medicare Covered Services for COVID-19
Medicare provides coverage for a variety of items and services related to COVID-19 at no cost to you, including:
- COVID-19 vaccine
- Lab tests for COVID-19
- COVID-19 antibody tests
- All medically necessary hospitalizations, including if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19
- Telehealth services
Does Medicare cover COVID-19 testing?
Yes, both Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage plans cover COVID-19 testing.1 As a Medicare beneficiary, you can receive COVID-19 tests from your primary physician as well as community testing sites. Serology tests, which test for COVID-19 antibodies, are also covered by Medicare insurance.
Does Medicare cover the COVID-19 vaccine?
Medicare Part B does cover the FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines.2 Your local health department determines how the vaccines are distributed. Important things to know about the COVID-19 vaccine include:
- You can’t pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine.
- You can’t pay to get early access to a vaccine.
- It’s important not to share your personal or financial information if someone calls, texts or emails you promising you access to the vaccine for a fee. This could potentially be a scam, and you want to ensure you’re only providing information to trusted sources.
How-to Get the Vaccine at Home
Individuals who are homebound or may have difficulty getting to a vaccination location may be able to get an in-home vaccination. You can find a vaccination location near you through the Vaccines.gov site and points of contact to schedule an in-home vaccination appointment if available in your area.
If inpatient hospitalization is required to treat COVID-19, Original Medicare will cover beneficiaries with traditional Medicare and will work with Medicare Advantage plan insurance carriers to cover this treatment. Treatment also includes new therapeutics that are approved for use in patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Medicare should also cover post-acute care in skilled nursing facilities, however, it does not cover long-term services, such as an extended stay in a nursing home.
Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans have expanded their telehealth services in response to COVID-19. Telehealth is the use of telecommunications (like FaceTime or Zoom) to virtually deliver health-related services and information that support patient care. Both Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans will pay for office visits, hospital visits and other visits completed via telehealth, allowing beneficiaries to receive the care they need without the risk of exposure to the coronavirus.
Extended Supply of Medication
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act requires Medicare Part D plans to provide up to a 90-day supply of Part D covered drugs to beneficiaries who request it. Under normal circumstances, refill restrictions can block coverage for a prescription that is being refilled early. The lifting of refill restrictions allows Part D enrollees to get an extended supply of medications if they need it.
Be Aware of Scammers
Scammers have been known to pose as COVID-19 contact tracers or offer COVID-19 tests and vaccines to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for Medicare and personal information. Medicare covers both tests and vaccines at no cost to you, so if you’re being asked for personal or financial information, there’s a good chance it is a scam. Medicare will not call Medicare beneficiaries directly to offer COVID-19 related products, services or benefit reviews.
Make Sure You Have Access to the Medicare Benefits Available to You with SelectQuote
At SelectQuote, we can help make sure you’re aware of all the Medicare benefits and services available to you in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll do our best to answer any questions you may have, connect you to the appropriate resources and make sure you’re getting the most out of your Medicare coverage.