Medicare and COVID-19
This is high-level information and is not intended to be medical advice.
Contact your doctor and your health plan for specifics on COVID-19 treatment.
The FAQs below highlight these new services including virtual access to care and offer tips to stay healthy, and reduce stress.
This information will be updated as new services and treatments become available.
Medicare’s response to COVID-19: Frequently asked questions
Coronaviruses are named for their spike covered surfaces which resemble the points on a crown. Corona means “crown” in Latin.
The coronavirus responsible for the pandemic is called “novel” because it is a new strain never seen before in humans. This virus is thought to have jumped from animals to humans sometime in late 2019. Because it is a newly discovered virus, it is unclear if anyone is immune to it.
Researchers believe it is possible that people can get COVID-19 by touching a contaminated surface followed by touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way of contracting the virus.
Additionally, new research has found that the virus particles can become aerosolized and are carried through moisture when someone talks or breathes. You may not think you spit when you speak, but consider breathing onto, or speaking near a mirror; the fog left behind are the actual water droplets that could transmit the virus. This is why social distancing and wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) are important.
According to the World Health Organization, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, fatigue, and a dry cough. Some infected people have also reported aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, and diarrhea.
If you are experiencing trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in your chest, confusion or exhaustion, or bluish lips or face, seek medical attention immediately.
Patients with severe symptoms and respiratory distress are being treated with supplemental oxygen. In serious cases, a patient may need to be put on a ventilator. However, it is important to keep in mind that about 80% of people recover from the disease without needing special treatment. For cases that don’t require hospitalization, self-care and treatment regimens similar to those used for flu and cold infections are recommended.
Will Medicare help pay for treatment and hospitalization as a result of COVID-19? If you have to be hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment, Medicare will cover those costs, including fees for extended quarantine stays in the hospital. Check with your plan carrier for details of how your individual plan covers these costs. Consumers can still be responsible for any plan hospital deductibles, copays or coinsurances that apply.
In response to the pandemic, Medicare has expanded access to telehealth services, allowing you to stay at home while still checking in with your doctor for essential appointments.
Currently, Medicare patients may use telecommunication technology for office visits, hospital visits and other services that generally occur in-person.
➜ Greater access via a variety of different devices
➜ Ability to interact with different healthcare providers
➜ Evaluation and management visits
➜ Mental health counseling
➜ Preventative screenings
These new telehealth options give you easy access to health care without risking exposure.
If you must leave your home, it’s a good idea to cover your nose and mouth with a cloth mask.
To stay safe:
➜ Stay home as much as you can
➜ Stay at least six feet away from others
➜ Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds
➜ Sneeze and cough into your elbow
➜ If you’re sick, call before going to your doctor or hospital
Here’s what you can do to reduce your anxiety and cope while we get through this:
➜ Connect with loved ones online through social media, phone calls, or video chat
➜ Try to limit the amount of news you consume per day to reduce worry and anxiety
➜ Go outside for some fresh air
➜ Listen to your favorite music
➜ Read or watch your favorite television shows
➜ Engage in a new or old hobby
➜ Being kind to yourself
➜ Overall, remember to make practical, healthy choices that will help you weather the storm. We’re all in this together.
To learn more about the actions CMS is taking to protect Medicare beneficiaries visit: https://www.medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus
While we cannot offer medical advice, we can answer your questions about Medicare coverage.
Call 888-411-7647 TTY: 711 to speak with a licensed insurance agent today.
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