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Sunday, June 7, 2020

Live coverage of the coronavirus: monitoring its impact in the United States

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Older Americans are at a high risk of serious illness new coronavirus, and most people over the age of 65 are covered by Medicare.

Medicare already covers its registrants for much of what they might need if they contract the virus and become seriously ill – and it has expanded some services and relaxed rules in response to crisis.

Here’s a look at what registrants can expect.

Will Medicare cover a test for coronavirus?

Coronavirus tests Ordered by a health care provider that accepts Medicare are covered by Part B (ambulatory services). This is the case if you are enrolled in traditional Medicare or Medicare Advantage. The co-payment and deductible amounts for the test have been abolished, as well as the associated services such as visits to the doctor or observation at the hospital.

Will Medicare cover care for Covid-19, the disease the virus can cause?

All necessary ambulatory services will be covered by Part B, and if you require hospitalization, they will be covered by the usual Medicare rules, Part A. This includes a deductible of $ 1,408 for each stay, and daily co-payments if your stay exceeds 60 days. The most popular supplemental insurance policies used in traditional health insurance cover 100% of this, but six million members do not have supplemental insurance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

For Medicare Advantage registrants, hospital fees vary depending on the plan and length of stay. Kaiser Research found that for stays of five days or more, at least half of Advantage registrants would pay more than the deductible paid by traditional Medicare registrants without additional coverage.

Would Medicare cover a Covid-19 vaccine if it was available?

Medicare Part B already covers certain flu vaccines. If a vaccine for Covid-19 becomes available, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, known as CMS, have declared that it will be covered by Part D prescription drug plans, including stand-alone and Medicare Advantage plans that cover drugs.

I am in a Medicare plan that has network restrictions on which health care providers I can use. Are these limitations still in place during the crisis?

Medicare Advantage plans and many Part D plans generally require that use network providersor pay more if they leave the network. But when state of emergency is declared, things change.

C.M.S. Advantage plans informed that during the crisis, they must cover services in off-grid facilities participating in Medicare and bill registrants affected by the emergency as much as network tariffs.

Drug plans often require registrants to use preferred retail or mail-order pharmacy networks. During the crisis, C.M.S. allows plans to relax these restrictions – but it’s not a requirement, so check with your plan.

I lost my job and need to register for Medicare. What should I do?

People who work after age 65 can delay Medicare enrollment if they have health insurance from their employer without incurring heavy penalties for late enrollment in Part B (10 percent lifetime for each 12 months after compulsory registration age of 65).

If you were in this situation and need to enroll in Medicare now due to job loss, you can take advantage of a special registration period which is available to you up to eight months after the loss of employment coverage.

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