Covid-19, also known as the coronavirus, is a respiratory disease that spreads easily from a person-to-person via sneezing, coughing, and talking. Due to this, the disease has created a worldwide pandemic that has killed millions of people worldwide. Although this disease can infect anyone, it seems that it hurts those with underlying health conditions and senior citizens the most. So, many seniors have wondered, “Will Medicare cover treatment for Covid-19?” Keep reading to find out!
Will Medicare cover Covid-19 testing?
The way to find out if you are Covid-19 positive is by taking a Covid-19 test. There are two tests currently available, which are the nasal swab and antibody testing. However, the antibody test only detects if you have the virus’s antibodies, which doesn’t tell you if you have the virus at that given time. In contrast, the Covid-19 nasal swab will conclude if you have it at that moment when you are tested.
Both of these Covid-19 tests are covered at 100% under Medicare Part B. You are not required to pay the Part B deductible or a copay when receiving a Covid-19 test. If you have Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan, you will not have any out-of-pocket costs.
Now, if your test results come back positive and you begin to have severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or severe chest pain, you should consider going to the hospital to get checked out.
How Medicare covers Covid-19 hospital visits
If you have severe Covid-19 symptoms, you might need to visit the emergency room to ensure your health is okay. An emergency room visit will fall under Medicare Part B. You will first be subject to the Part B deductible and then a 20% coinsurance. But a Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan will help with your out-of-pocket expenses.
If the doctor admits you as an inpatient at the hospital, your inpatient stay would be covered by Medicare Part A. As an inpatient, you will pay the Part A deductible, which is $1,484 in 2021. After you pay the deductible, Medicare will cover your stay in full for up to 60 days. If your stay exceeds 60 days, then you will pay a daily copayment. Again, a Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan will help cover these costs.
There might be a chance the hospital will require you to quarantine after your hospital stay. If so, you will not be responsible for any additional costs. With that said, many seniors require a skilled nursing stay after they are discharged from the hospital. Medicare will cover the first 20 days in total. But you will have a daily copayment of $185.50 for days 21 through 100 in 2021.
Does Medicare cover the Covid-19 vaccine?
In 2020, the FDA approved the emergency use of two vaccines, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. However, in 2021, the FDA fully approved the first Covid-19 vaccine, the Pfizer vaccination.
If you receive the Pfizer vaccination, you will need a second shot three weeks after your first one. When you are administered the Moderna vaccine, you should get a second shot four weeks after your first one.
As Medicare Part B covers many vaccines, such as the flu and pneumonia vaccine, Part B will also cover both Covid-19 vaccinations. You should not pay anything when administered the Pfizer or Moderna Covid-19 vaccine.
During these unprecedented times, you should take daily precautions by washing your hands frequently, not touching your face, and socially distancing yourself from those who are most vulnerable. If you were to test positive for the Covid-19 disease, know that Medicare will cover your treatment.