Does Medicare Pay For COVID-19 Expenses? This Review Reveals What Medicare does cover.
Medicare is health insurance for people 65 or older. You’re first eligible to sign up for Medicare 3 months before you turn 65. You may be eligible to get Medicare earlier if you have a disability, End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), or ALS (also called Lou Gehrig’s disease).
It is important to understand what Medicare is willing to cover, so we don’t have a big bill afterward.
COVID-19 Vaccinations: Effective… Safe… Affordable…
COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. The COVID-19 is the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, Hubei province, China.
Since December 2019, cases have been identified in a growing number of countries.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are known to cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
Public health authorities are learning more every day. We will continue to update as we learn more.
Symptoms of COVID-19
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:
- New loss of taste or smell
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle pain
How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19
The symptoms that are currently being seen with COVID-19 are cough, fever, headache, new loss of taste or smell, repeated shaking with chills, sore throat, shortness of breath, and muscle pain. To help prevent the spread of germs, you should:
- Multiple times a day, wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if you have symptoms of acute respiratory illness.
- Stay home from work or school until you are free of fever, signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours and without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medications.
- Seek medical attention if you have reason to believe you have been exposed to coronavirus or influenza. Call your healthcare provider before visiting a healthcare facility.
You play an important role in stopping the spread of germs, view resources to share with your family, friends and within your community.
Higher Risk Populations
Some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, including older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions. If you are in this higher-risk population, the CDC recommends that you:
- Stock up on supplies
- During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed
- Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others
- When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often
- Avoid crowds as much as possible
- Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel
Get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can.
- Medicare covers the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to you. Be sure to bring your Medicare card.
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Get details about the vaccine.
- If you’re immunocompromised (like people who have had an organ transplant and are at risk for infections and other diseases), Medicare will cover an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to you.
- If you have Medicare and have a disability or face other challenges in getting to a location away from home for a vaccination, Medicare will pay a doctor or other care provider to give you the COVID-19 vaccine in your home. You may need to give them your Medicare Number for billing, but there’s still no cost to you for the vaccine and its administration. Get details about the vaccine at home.
|Medicare wants to help protect you from COVID-19:Medicare covers items & services related to COVID-19If you paid to get a a COVID-19 vaccineBe alert for scammers trying to steal your Medicare NumberHow to stay up to date|
- FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines. You pay no out-of-pocket costs.
- Lab tests for COVID-19. You pay no out-of-pocket costs.
- FDA-authorized COVID-19 antibody (or “serology”) tests if you were diagnosed with a known current or known prior COVID-19 infection or suspected current or suspected past COVID-19 infection.
- Monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19.
- All medically necessary hospitalizations. This includes if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19 and might otherwise have been discharged from the hospital after an inpatient stay, but instead you need to stay in the hospital under quarantine. You’ll still pay for any hospital deductibles, copays, or coinsurances that apply.
- Expanded telehealth services during the Public Health Emergency.Note Military hospital ships and temporary military hospitals don’t charge Medicare or civilians for care. If you’re not sure whether the hospital will charge you, ask them.
- If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you have access to these same benefits. Medicare allows these plans to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 lab tests. Many plans offer additional telehealth benefits and expanded benefits, like meal delivery or medical transport services. Check with your plan about your coverage and costs.
If you paid to get a COVID-19 vaccine
When you get a COVID-19 vaccine, your provider can’t charge you for an office visit or other fee if the vaccine is the only medical service you get.If you get other medical services at the same time you get the COVID-19 vaccine, you may owe a copayment or deductible for those services.
If you paid a fee or got a bill for a COVID-19 vaccine, check this list to see if your provider should have charged you:
- Check the receipts and statements you get from your provider for any mistakes.
- Call your provider’s office to ask about any charges you think are incorrect. The person you speak to may help you better understand the services you got, or realize they made a billing error.
- If you have Original Medicare, review your “Medicare Summary Notice” for errors. Report anything suspicious to Medicare by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
- If you have other coverage like a Medicare Advantage Plan, review your “Explanation of Benefits.” Report anything suspicious to your insurer.
If you think your provider incorrectly charged you for the COVID-19 vaccine, ask them for a refund. If you think your provider charged you for an office visit or other fee, but the only service you got was a COVID-19 vaccine, report them to the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by calling 1-800-HHS-TIPS or visiting TIPS.HHS.GOV.
Be alert for scammers trying to steal your Medicare Number
Medicare covers the vaccine at no cost to you, soif anyone asks you for your Medicare Number to get access to the vaccine, you can bet it’s a scam.
Here’s what to know:
- You can’t pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine.
- You can’t pay to get access to a vaccine.
- Don’t share your personal or financial information if someone calls, texts, or emails you promising access to the vaccine for a fee.
Scammers may use the COVID-19 public health emergency to take advantage of people while they’re distracted. As always, guard your Medicare card like a credit card, check Medicare claims summary forms for errors. If someone calls asking for your Medicare Number, hang up.
How to stay up to date
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