Coronavirus and Medicare

medicare Mar 23, 2020

There's no doubt that by now you've heard about the Coronavirus (which is officially called "2019 Novel Coroavirus" or "COVID-19"). Medicare recently released a statement saying that Medicare Part B (medical insurance) covers a test to see if you have Coronavirus.

To get the test, your doctor or health care provider must order it. The availability of tests at this time is limited, however, and varies depending on your location. This is expected to change in the next days and weeks. Be sure to check with your health care provider for information if you feel that you need to be tested.

Medicare Coverage of Coronavirus Test

Here are the details of what Medicare covers for Coronavirus:

  • Lab tests for COVID-10. You pay no out-of-pocket costs.
  • All medically necessary hospitalizations. This includes if your diagnosed with COVID-19 and might otherwise have been discharged from the hospital after an inpatient stay, but instead you need to stay in the hospital under quarantine.
  • A vaccine for COVID-19, if one becomes available, will be covered by all Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D). At this time, there's no vaccine for COVID-19.

If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you have access to the above benefits. Medicare allows these plans to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 lab tests.

Information about Coronavirus is changing and evolving. Stay up-to-date with more detailed information, including links to other U.S. government web pages on's Medicare & Coronavirus web page.

Coronavirus Information Sources

Information about Coronavirus is changing rapidly. For the most current information, check with reputable sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

On the CDC website, you'll find information about who is currently at risk for infection and what areas have travel guidance, and recommendations for precautions. he CDC is updating their website with information as it becomes available, including adding updated guidance.

Medicare Recommends Coronavirus Precautions

To prevent the spread of Coronavirus, Medicare recommends that you follow these tips:

  • Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
  • Work from home, or do schooling from home, whenever possible.
  • Avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts. Use drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options.
  • Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren't available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places, like elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, and handshaking with people. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, and eyes.
  • Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces--tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, and cell phones.

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