With the coronavirus pandemic still affecting our day-to-day, 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 the coronavirus related services that are covered by Medicare.
Does Medicare cover COVID-19 testing?
Yes, both Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage plans cover COVID-19 testing.1 Medicare beneficiaries can receive COVID-19 tests from their 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 covers 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:
- 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.
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 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, hospital 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 request 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 their 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 benefits review.
Make Sure You Have Access to the Medicare Benefits You Deserve 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.