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Hello Medicare seniors out there trying to ride this terrible storm out.

I realize these are trying times and I have never seen something like this in my 54 years on this earth, but I also feel confident we will get through this because after all, we are Americans and that’s what we do. I know the country has been divided politically, but just like 9/11 it sure seems like we are all working together once again.

I just wanted to reach out to everyone with the latest change to Medicare which will benefit all recipients. There is good news.

Due to the Coronavirus, Medicare seniors can access their physicians through Telehealth services in the privacy of their own homes. If you feel you are developing symptoms you do not need to worry about sitting in an unhealthy waiting room. You will certainly limit your risk for exposure for this virus.

medicare telehealth

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As a matter of fact, these new changes allow you to also access your doctor’s assistants, psychologists, social workers and nurses. This allows you to access these important health care workers through virtual care services to help protect Medicare recipients from this pandemic outbreak.

While perusing online trying to find the latest information I found a blurb from Patrice Harris who is the American Medical Association president and she says,

“This important Medicare policy change supports social distancing measures and slows the spread of the novel coronavirus, while providing safe screening and treatment to patients through remote care.

The use of telemedicine and remote services are critical to the management of COVID-19, while also ensuring uninterrupted care for 100 million Americans with chronic conditions.”

Some who may be reading this could be a little confused as to what qualifies as “Telehealth services.” Medicare Telehealth will allow seniors to access and speak with your doctor or other healthcare professionals using real-time audio and video systems such as your cell phone, computer, iPad tablet which includes Facetime and the like.

All this means is that you can have an actual doctor visit with your physician without the physical office visit using online portals.

I was speaking about this with a client by phone yesterday and she was worried because she felt she was showing symptoms and was concerned about the costs for this service. I told her to relax because the Telehealth system is covered by Medicare under the medical portion Part B.

Part B does cover coronavirus testing so that means your supplement plan will also cover their portion.

facetime with doctor

If you don’t have a Medicare supplement plan you will expect to pay the 20% after Part B covers the first 80%.

Very important, for those of you who have Medicare Advantage plans you probably know you have an impatient hospital copay, which on most plans could cost you a few hundred dollars daily as you spend time in the hospital.

Well there is some good news, this is a time where you can add a Hospital Indemnity policy to your coverage so in the event you are hospitalized for this virus you can protect your pocket book from that large out of pocket daily co-pay.

These policies are very inexpensive with very minimal underwriting and can be purchased from your agent over the telephone and online.

This is a great policy to add especially for those Medicare Advantage clients who pay a very low monthly premium for their coverage. This may also be a good policy for Medigap clients because it pays you the benefit directly, so in case you do end up being hospitalized it can pay for other out of pocket expenses not related to your medical.

I hope everyone practices thorough hygiene practices from this day forward even after we get through this difficult time. If anyone has any questions at all you know where to reach your BGA agent. We are here to help you.

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Additional Resources:

Medicare Telehealth