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Does Medicare Cover Coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic has generated some uncertainty among Americans regarding access to health care coverage should they fall victim to the disease. 

Although most individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 recover at home, treatment for patients requiring hospitalization is extremely costly. The average cost for a hospitalized patient stands at $30,000 – a figure too high for many to bear. 

So, what COVID-19 coverage does Medicare provide for the disease’s most at-risk demographic?

Simply put, different parts of Medicare cover different aspects of COVID-19 testing and treatment. This article will explain which parts of Medicare cover coronavirus testing and treatment. It also explores how people can manage their expectations regarding out-of-pocket costs.

COVID-19 Testing & Medicare

Coronavirus Testing & Medicare

Does Medicare Cover Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tests

Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans cover COVID-19 tests performed on or after February 4, 2020.

Original Medicare enrollees are covered under Medicare Part B with no out-of-pocket costs incurred if it’s ordered by a doctor or healthcare provider. Likewise, Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are covered for COVID-19 testing under their Medicare Part B coverage.

Does Medicare Cover Coronavirus (COVID-19) Antibody Tests

The serology antibody is a blood test that can determine whether someone has had COVID-19, even if symptoms didn’t develop. Since April 11, 2020, it was announced that all insurance providers must also cover antibody testing for COVID-19, including Medicare. Again, this is covered in full by Medicare Part B.

Does Medicare Cover Coronavirus Treatment?

With no vaccine currently available, Medicare is being used to cover hospitalization treatment for COVID-19 victims. Although most cases are mild and are treated at home, certain patients require healthcare and possibly hospitalization.

The good news is that hospitalization through COVID-19 is covered under Medicare Part A. 

Once the Part A deductible is met ($1,408 for the 2020 Medicare), all inpatient hospital costs will be covered for the first 60 days. From that point, the patient will incur a coinsurance amount of $352 per day (from day 61 to 90).  

Those hospitalized through COVID-19 may require the following treatments (all of which are covered under Medicare):

  • IV fluids
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Fever-reducing medications
  • Antiviral medications
  • Medication to improve breathing
  • Respiratory therapy

Medications required during hospitalization are covered under Medicare Part A, and equipment that is needed (e.g. a ventilator) is covered under Medicare Part B.

Medicare Part B is also responsible for your doctor consultation fees for visits related to coronavirus treatment. Because of the need for self-isolation, Medicare has expanded telehealth coverage to include virtual consultations, meaning your doctor’s visit doesn’t need to be face-to-face for Medicare to cover the cost. 

How Medicare is Responding to Coronavirus

Aside from testing and treatment coverage, Medicare is helping patients with a number of other measures:

  • A special enrollment opportunity is available for those who missed enrollment in a Medicare plan due to COVID-19.
  • Enrollment flexibilities for Medicare Parts A & B.
  • Certain plans offer expanded benefits, like meal delivery or medical transport services. 
  • Patients who must remain in quarantine while in the hospital can do so at no extra cost.
  • Expanded coverage of telehealth services to help patients consult doctors, nurse practitioners, psychologists, therapists, etc. over the phone. 

Medicare Enrollment Coronavirus

Conclusion

Medicare is continuing to develop its coverage needs in response to the coronavirus pandemic to keep those over 65 years old safe. 

To help individuals with symptoms get tested and patients receive treatment, COVID-19 testing and treatment are covered under both Medicare Part A and Part B.

Coronavirus testing and recovery equipment are under Medicare Part B, and hospital stays and medication are covered under Medicare Part A for COVID-19 treatment. Testing requires no out-of-pocket costs; however, copayments and deductibles still apply for treatment.

If you qualify for Medicare but missed your chance to enroll, a special enrollment opportunity and flexibilities have been created due to COVID-19, Speak to one of our licensed insurance agents on 1-844-389-0828 to find out if you are eligible today.

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