Seema Verma

Medicare Telehealth Coverage Expands

Telehealth Coverage expands amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Medicare Telehealth has changed due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency. Seniors can now access telehealth services in their homes. On March 17, 2020, CMS Administrator Seema Verma says: 

Medicare Telehealth

“These changes allow seniors to communicate with their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility so that they can limit the risk of exposure and the spread of this virus.”

– Seema Verma

Moreover, these changes apply to more than just doctors. You can also receive telehealth services from the following healthcare providers:

  • Physicians
  • Physician Assistants
  • Nurses
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Registered Dietitians

All of these clinicians can now safely provide virtual care services while protecting our seniors from the coronavirus.  On March 17, 2020, the American Medical Association (AMA) President Patrice Harris, MD, applauds this Medicare telemedicine policy change. She says:

This important Medicare policy change supports social distancing measures and slows the spread of the novel coronavirus, while providing safe screening and treatment to patients through remote care.

– Patrice Harris, MD

Moreover, Doctor Harris says, “The use of telemedicine and remote services are critical to the management of COVID-19, while also ensuring uninterrupted care for 100 million Americans with chronic conditions.” This policy change expands Medicare telehealth benefits to the vast majority of people on Medicare.

Who is eligible for Medicare Telehealth?

Anyone with Medicare Part B (Medical Coverage) is eligible for Medicare Telehealth benefits. For example, people who have Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, and Medicare Supplement Plans. However, anyone with only Medicare Part A is not eligible for telehealth benefits.

Expanding Your Telehealth Benefits

Robert Bache, the founder of Senior Healthcare Direct, breaks the Medicare news on expanding telehealth benefits. Watch the MedicareBob video below for more information.

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Medicare Telehealth Communication 

Medicare Telehealth allows you to communicate with a healthcare professional using a real-time audio/video system. For example, you may be able to use your smartphone or any other device with video technology, like a tablet or laptop. 

Furthermore, you can use telehealth services for virtual check-ins over the phone with your doctor. For example, you can communicate without going to your doctor’s office using an online patient portal for e-visits.

Medicare Telehealth Coverage and Cost

Medicare Part B covers Telehealth and can include virtual check-ins and e-visits. Moreover, Part B covers coronavirus testing. Original Medicare only covers 80% of Part B costs. Therefore, you may need to pay 20% coinsurance and Part B annual deductible. However, Medicare beneficiaries with Medicare Supplement Plan will not pay Part B coinsurance (expect plans K and L).

Related Article: Coronavirus Tips to Stay Safe

About Brian Kondas

Brian Kondas writes well-researched, high-quality, and accurate content for Senior Healthcare Direct. Brian writes about Medicare-related topics including the Coronavirus. Moreover, Brian search engine optimizes (SEO) content, so it ranks higher in search engines and drives organic traffic. Furthermore, Brian edits graphics and creates infographics.