With news surrounding COVID-19 on every channel, it can feel hard to escape it. However, as a dedicated insurance agent, we know your priority is always your clients. At Internet CE, one of the leading online insurance continuing education providers, we are committed to providing you with the latest information around issues impacting your business. We understand many of your clients are asking: How is COVID-19 impacting Medicare?
Medicare’s advice for beneficiaries to protect against COVID-19 include:
- Listen to and follow the directions of state and local authorities.
- Keep the entire household at home if someone in your household has tested positive for coronavirus.
- If you’re an older person or a person with a serious underlying health condition that can put you at increased risk (like a condition that impairs your lung or heart function or weakens your immune system), stay home and away from other people.
- Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
- Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being out in public, blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- To the extent possible, 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.
- Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (like tissues) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
- Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you’ll be prepared to stay at home for a period of time.
Make sure to tell your clients Medicare covers COVID-19-related needs:
- Medicare covers the lab tests for COVID-19. Patients are not responsible for out-of-pocket costs.
- Medicare covers all medically necessary hospitalizations.
- At this time, there’s no vaccine for COVID-19. However, if one becomes available, it will be covered by all Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D).
- If your client has a Medicare Advantage Plan, he or she has access to these same benefits. Medicare allows these plans to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 lab tests.
- Medicare has temporarily expanded its coverage of telehealth services to respond to the current Public Health Emergency. Your clients should check their policy for information about coverage and costs.
And remember, scammers may use this crisis to take advantage of your clients while they’re distracted. It’s a good time to remind them to guard their Medicare card like a credit card, check Medicare claims summary forms for errors, and to hang up if someone calls asking for their Medicare Number.
Have any other questions? That’s why we’re here. Also, while you’re stuck at home, now’s a great time to tackle those insurance CE hours. Check out this Medicare Essentials bundle, including ethics, to keep you up-to-date with the latest in the world of Medicare and how to serve your senior clients.