Medicare and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
Novel Coronavirus Medicare Fact Sheet
Get medical care without leaving your home
- You can set up appointments, talk to your providers, and get care without leaving your home. This is called telehealth and it’s free.
- You can receive some services through telehealth, such as common office visits, mental health counseling, and preventive health screenings, without a copayment if you have Original Medicare. This can help you have access to a wide range of doctors, nurse practitioners, psychologists, physical therapists, and social workers from your home.
- Talk to your doctor or other providers about making a telehealth appointment. If you have Original Medicare, also known as Medicare FFS, you can work directly with your healthcare provider to schedule a telehealth appointment.
- Most Medicare Advantage or Dual Special Needs plans also offer telehealth benefits. You can ask your plan about coverage and costs, or for help scheduling telehealth appointments.
- If you need an interpreter or help in another language or format, tell your provider. Your provider can help schedule interpreters for your appointments. The law requires that you have access to health care services, regardless of your preferred language or any disability. Let your provider know of any disability, such as a hearing disability, that might require more support. For information about how to access services, contact your health care provider or your Medicare Advantage or Dual Special Needs plan.
Get your prescriptions by mail instead of going to the pharmacy
- You can get many prescriptions by mail. Ask your Medicare Advantage or Dual Special Needs plan or your Part D plan how to enroll in its mail order prescription program. Often, you can save money by having prescriptions sent by mail.
- Each plan can set its own requirements for how much medication it will send at once, and many will still require a prior authorization from your health care provider for any new medication.
- During the COVID-19 emergency, many plans will refill for 90 days if you ask. For best results, contact your plan.
- If you need help, call your plan and ask about mail-order pharmacy services. You can also check your member handbook for more information.
- Many pharmacies are offering free delivery of prescriptions to your home during the COVID-19 emergency. Others work with particular Medicare Advantage or Part D plans to offer delivery at any time. You can ask the pharmacy directly or contact your plan about delivery options.
Don’t run out of important medications; refill them two weeks early
- It is important to keep taking medications as prescribed. Refill your important medications at least two weeks before you run out. You can ask for an emergency supply.
- Pharmacies can help. If the pharmacist says it is “too soon,” say that you need a refill now because of the COVID-19 emergency.
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