Coronavirus and Medicare Supplement Plans

While most people recover from coronavirus without requiring significant medical care, here’s a look at the costs that might come with the required treatment. While some Medicare beneficiaries have additional insurance that covers the cost of hospitalizations and various medical services, others can pay more than their peers. A patient wearing a face mask is seen in the emergency room of St. Joseph’s Medical Center in New York City, April 14, 2014.

Some people have coverage against coronavirus, such as Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid, but many do not have additional coverage, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [Sources: 1, 2]

To compare Medicare supplement plans us the Plan finder tool which allows you to compare all available plans for prescription drugs. Medicare members can review, make changes, switch, or switch to another plan at any time, such as Medicare Part D, Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Supplement.

Medicare does not have access to all the services covered by Medicare Part A and Part B, but some are available. Medicare Part D, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement provide individual support to Medicare beneficiaries.

Medicare Advantage plans often charge a daily fee, and Medicare Supplement plans charge monthly or monthly deductibles or co-pays for some services.

Medicare Advantage participants face different costs for hospitalizations, depending on the length of stay and their planned costs – part of the cost. Under CMS guidelines, Medicare Advantage plans could waive or reduce the cost of COVID-19-related treatments. Members of UHC plans for Medicaid and Medicare Supplement as well as members of all other Medicare plans in the United States are included in this guide. In addition, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), most Medicare Advantage insurers have announced plans to temporarily waive such costs, though this is not required. 

To ensure that as many people as possible can make ends meet and forget about the crisis, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved a special enrollment deadline for all Medicare recipients affected by COVID-19 emergencies. Eligible individuals who do not make it through the election during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, which ends March 31, 2020, can use this special enrollment period to sign up or unsubscribe for any Medicare plan.

Before the vaccine became available for COVID-19, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (known as CMS) said it would be subject to Part D prescription drug plans, including standalone plans and Medicare Advantage. Beginning in May, Humana announced in a May 5 press release that it will waive CO VID-21 and COID-20 costs for the remainder of 2020. Those plans include the drug in addition to standard coverage for other prescription drugs in the Medicare program.

Medicare Advantage plans are advised by CMS that during a crisis, they must cover all out-of-network services that participate in Medicare, as well as all emergencies that affect participants. Medicare plans have a limit on the number of health care providers that can be used, and participants are typically required to work outside the network or pay more if they go outside the network. Some Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans, like Humana, have limits on what health care providers you can access.

Medicare Advantage plans are able to offer additional telemedicine services that are not covered by traditional Medicare, including the ability to provide services outside rural areas, as well as telemedicine visits for beneficiaries of enrollees in their own homes.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the CMS has advised dispensing with or reducing the cost – sharing the cost of telemedicine services in order to uniformly reduce the cost of telemedicine visits for patients in rural and urban areas for similarly located enrollments. Medicare Advantage plans have the option of waiving certain requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Affordable Care Act. .

To support community outreach and quarantine efforts, CVS Health has announced it will waive prescription drug dispensing fees. The Department of Homeland Security has advised people to make sure they receive regular prescription drugs before the pandemic. .

On March 3, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced in a post on its website that the virus will fall under Part B, but doctors and healthcare providers will have to order tests. On March 9, 2019, United HealthCare announced that it would waive copies, co-insurance and deductibles at approved locations. Health insurers Aetna and CVS have also announced plans to offer free or inexpensive flu shots to people with pre-existing conditions. .

Nadia de la Houssaye, a partner with the Jones Walker law firm, says Congressional action on CMS’ telehealth coverage is “long overdue and critically important.” In particular, she’s looking at CMS guidelines that limit telehealth to rural areas and don’t allow coverage for telehealth in clinics, health centers or the patient’s home.

According to mHealthIntelligence.com, “Telehealth reimbursement should not be limited to a patient’s geographical location,” she notes. “CMS’ prompt action to lift originating site barriers played a significant role in provider adoption and usage of telehealth in the midst of COVID-19. …. All Medicare beneficiaries should have equal access to covered healthcare benefits, regardless of where and how care is delivered. Permanent removal of CMS’ pre-pandemic geographic and reimbursement barriers will ensure better and more affordable care to our nation’s most vulnerable population – the elderly and disabled.”

Different services and benefits are covered under different parts of the Medicare program, as outlined below. Medicare does not cover everything, but it covers a wide range of health services, including medical, dental, visual and mental health services. Many covered services are paid for by part of the cost, while some have insurance plans that are paid for as part of a patient’s cost sharing.