Many citizens around the world have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus has seemed to target the elderly and people with underlying health conditions. America’s healthcare system has made changes to protect our people and our senior citizens. With that said, many seniors may wonder, “Will Medicare cover coronavirus treatment?” First, let’s discuss what the coronavirus is.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a highly contagious virus that emerged from an animal and spreads easily from person to person. The virus is a respiratory infection that spreads through respiratory droplets when a carrier coughs or sneezes. You may also catch the virus by touching a surface or an object that the virus is on.
It can take up to 2 to 14 days for a person to experience coronavirus symptoms. Therefore, someone can have the virus and be unaware, thus infecting people around them or the things they touch. With that said, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend social distancing six feet apart from others and avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
When social distancing occurs, you may lower the chance of encountering an infected person’s respiratory droplet. You should wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap after touching a public surface.
Since senior citizens have been affected by the coronavirus the most, Medicare has made changes to ensure seniors will receive the care they need.
Will Medicare cover coronavirus?
Doctors administer Coronavirus testing to either diagnose or rule out if you are coronavirus positive. If you have traditional Medicare, then Medicare Part B will cover the coronavirus test. You will only receive coverage for the coronavirus test if your doctor or healthcare provider orders one.
If you have Part B and you receive the test in a Medicare-approved lab, you should not have out-of-pocket costs. Copays and deductible costs for the test will be waived, as well as physician services or hospital observation.
According to Mayo Clinic, many different vaccines are currently undergoing trial for the coronavirus. As of right now, there is not a coronavirus vaccine available to anyone in the United States. However, when one does become available, the preventative vaccine will be covered under Medicare Part D.
Will Medicare cover Telehealth services?
Telehealth provides medical services between a healthcare provider and a patient remotely using a telecommunication software. Telehealth allows a patient to be treated, analyzed, and diagnosed by a physician all from the comfort of the patient’s home. To utilize this service, you must have a smartphone or another type of audio communication service, such as Zoom, Skype, or Facetime.
Medicare typically covers this type of service for its beneficiaries, but only for certain circumstances. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Medicare is now offering telehealth to all seniors with traditional Medicare.
Telehealth services are covered by Medicare Part B. Beneficiaries can receive psychotherapy, consultations, checkups, and other medical or health services that are needed through telehealth. With that said, deductibles and coinsurance will apply to your service. However, many healthcare providers are reducing or waiving the payment of your telehealth visit.
Since seniors are at higher risk, they should utilize this service to their advantage. Unless it is an emergency, you should avoid all doctor offices to help reduce the chance of exposure to the virus or any other illness.
According to WHO, it takes up to two weeks to recover from coronavirus, and 3-6 weeks for severe cases. Every citizen should social distance themselves and wash their hands frequently. If you or a loved one begin to feel any of the coronavirus symptoms mentioned earlier, contact your healthcare provider immediately.