Medicare Part B Covers the Coronavirus Test

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Are you a Medicare beneficiary and unsure if Medicare will cover your coronavirus lab test?

Well, in a world where little is certain, this is. Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers a test to see if you have coronavirus (officially called 2019-novel coronavirus or COVID-19).

This test is covered, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, when your doctor or other health care provider orders it and if you got the test on or after February 4, 2020. (Of note, you usually pay nothing for Medicare-covered clinical diagnostic laboratory tests.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, however, you should check with your provider. The test will likely be covered but Medicare Advantage plans are different from original Medicare plans. Read Understanding Medicare Advantage Plans and CMS Issues Guidance to help Medicare Advantage and Part D Plans Respond to COVID-19.

Also, in a podcast, Jae Oh, author of Maximize Your Medicare, said hospitalizations for the coronavirus are also covered if it’s deemed to be medically necessary. You would, however, be responsible to pay the annual deductible for Part A. Read 2020 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles.

Note too that beneficiaries who have a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plan can help pay some of the remaining health care costs not covered by Original Medicare such as copayments, coinsurance and deductibles.

One other update: Medicare has temporarily expanded its coverage of tele-health services to respond to COVID-19. Medicare beneficiaries can temporarily use tele-health services for common office visits, mental health counseling and preventive health screenings. Read MEDICARE TELEMEDICINE HEALTH CARE PROVIDER FACT SHEET.

For the latest information on the coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) | CDC.

Read also FAQs on Medicare Coverage and Costs Related to COVID-19 Testing and Treatment.

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