Times are crazy! I think most of us would agree that we would like a do-over for 2020. People are stressed out worrying not only about catching the virus but worrying about going to the doctor for any care and potentially being exposed to the virus along with fears over suffering financially if they do need Coronavirus treatment.
My advice to you… take a deep calming breath (with a mask on, of course) then go to your Medicare Advantage plan’s website to review what they are doing to help you during this pandemic. If you don’t have access to a computer, call the member services number on your ID card and ask them what special provisions they are offering during this time.
Many plans have added or expanded telehealth services so you can visit with a physician from the comfort of your couch. Most plans are waiving cost-sharing for Coronavirus testing AND treatment – so stop worrying about the medical bills associated with a long hospital stay due to the virus. Some plans are waiving copays for all primary care, specialist, telehealth, and behavioral health visits even if they are not Coronavirus related.
Many plans have added or expanded transportation benefits along with allowing early prescription refills and waivers of prior authorization requirements. If your plan includes a fitness benefit like Silver and Fit or Silver Sneakers, for example, they may be offering home fitness options during this time. I hear Silver and Fit is providing Fitbits at no cost. Health plans can also provide information to you on drive-thru testing locations in your area. They are there to help!
**Special Note… Make sure you are talking to the Member Services Department and not an internal Salesperson. A Salesperson may try to change you to a different plan – please do not do this as they do not understand your situation like we do. Please be assured that we have enrolled you in the plan that is most appropriate for your needs.
If you have Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement, Medicare has expanded its coverage of telehealth and is waiving costs associated with those visits as well as for Coronavirus testing. In addition, Medicare does cover FDA-approved COVID-19 Antibody tests.
As always, we will get through this together. With love from all of us here at American Retirement Advisors, stay vigilant, stay safe, and stay healthy.