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Does Medicare cover COVID testing?

COVID testing for Medicare Beneficiaries

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Yes. Medicare covers the diagnostic test for COVID-19. You pay nothing when you get it from a laboratory, pharmacy, doctor, or hospital, and when Medicare covers this test in your area. 

COVID-19 testing is covered under Medicare Part B as a clinical laboratory test. These tests are used to aid in the diagnosis of or rule out a case of COVID-19, also commonly known as the coronavirus. No coinsurance, copayment, or deductible applies for those with Medicare or Medicare Advantage.

Medicare also covers COVID-19 antibody tests, which will let your doctor know if you have previously been exposed to the virus. Testing positive for antibodies to the virus means that your immune system, at one point, encountered virus cells and made antibodies to enable your body to recognize the virus as a threat if you contract the virus in the future. These tests are also covered by Part B as laboratory tests.

Additional COVID-19 Measures

Medicare Part A is covering all medically necessary hospital stays related to the coronavirus. If you are diagnosed and need to remain at the hospital in order to quarantine away from your family, you will be covered. You will still need to pay copayments, coinsurance, and the deductible.

Once a vaccine is available to the public, it will be covered by Medicare.

Medicare has also expanded its telehealth services during this health emergency. Telehealth visits involve communicating with your doctor or healthcare provider over the phone or a smart device in order to access them while maintaining your social distance. You can meet with your doctor, nurse practitioner, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech language pathologist, clinical psychologist, or licensed clinical social worker through this service. You can receive counseling, have management and evaluation visits, and preventive health screenings without having to pay a copayment.

Included in the distanced services are virtual check-ins, which are brief conversations with your doctor or healthcare provider that are not related to a visit from the past seven days and do not result in a visit in the next 24 hours or immediate future. For these visits, you must have documented verbal consent and will owe coinsurance and your deductible.

Medicare is allowing for the use of online patient portals to communicate with your healthcare providers, and you must initiate these communications. For those without a smartphone, you can have audio-only phone calls with your doctor or provider. You can also receive these services at rural health clinics or federally qualified health clinics.
Contact Bobby Brock Insurance to learn more about the services Medicare can cover.

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