Medicare and telehealth benefits
Medicare has temporarily expanded its coverage of telehealth services to respond to COVID-19.
Medicare beneficiaries can temporarily use telehealth services for common office visits, mental health counseling and preventive health screenings. This will help ensure Medicare beneficiaries are able to visit with their doctor from their home, without having to go to a doctor’s office or hospital, which puts themselves and others at risk.
If you have an existing healthcare appointment, or think you need to see your doctor, please call them first to see if your appointment can be conducted over a smartphone with video capability or any device using video technology, like a tablet or a laptop. For some appointments, a simple check-in over the phone without video capabilities may suffice.
Important: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as a cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider immediately.
Medicare covers related needs
- Medicare covers the lab test for COVID-19. You pay no out-of-pocket costs.
- Medicare covers 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.
- At this time, there’s no vaccine for COVID-19. However, if one becomes available, it will be covered by all Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D).
- 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 beyond the ones described below. Check with your plan about your coverage and costs.
Medicare & Coronavirus
How to stay up to date:
Coronavirus.gov is the source for the latest information about COVID-19 prevention, symptoms, and answers to common questions. Whitehouse.gov has the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America — 15 Days to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). USA.gov has the latest information about what the U.S. Government is doing in response to COVID-19.
Medicare wants to help protect you from COVID-19: