At the doctor’s office and want to know if a procedure is covered by Medicare? There is an app for that. Medicare has launched a free app that gives beneficiaries a quick way to see whether the program covers a specific medical item or service.
The “What’s Covered” app allows you to search or browse to learn what’s covered and not covered under Medicare Parts A and B, how and when to get covered benefits, basic cost information and other eligibility details. You can also see a list of covered preventive services. The app does not give results for extra benefits that Medicare Advantage plans may cover but that Original Medicare does not, such as certain vision, hearing or dental benefits.
Examples of the types of questions the app can answer include:
- When are mammograms covered?
- Is home health care covered?
- Will Medicare pay for diabetes supplies?
- Can I get a regular cervical cancer screening?
- Will my Medicare benefits cover a service to help me stop smoking?
Although the app provides beneficiaries with basic information, it doesn’t provide personalized information. It doesn’t ask details about each user’s specific insurance information, so it doesn’t take into account the user’s supplemental insurance, co-insurance, and deductibles. Essentially, the app provides another way for Medicare beneficiaries to get the same information that is available online and in the Medicare handbook.
The app is part of an initiative by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) focused on modernizing Medicare and empowering beneficiaries. Other initiatives include:
- Enhanced interactive online decision support to help beneficiaries better understand and evaluate the coverage options and costs of original Medicare compared to Medicare Advantage plans.
- New price transparency tools that let consumers compare the national average costs of certain procedures between settings, so people can see what they’ll pay for procedures done in a hospital outpatient department versus an ambulatory surgical center.
- A new webchat option in the Medicare Plan Finder.
- New easy-to-use surveys across Medicare.gov so consumers can tell CMS what they want.
To get the new “What’s Covered” app, go here: https://www.medicare.gov/blog/whats-covered-mobile-app.
Jeff is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation, a distinction held by only a handful of lawyers in Indiana. For almost 20 years, he has focused on elder law, estate planning, long-term care planning, Medicaid planning, Veterans Affairs benefits planning, special needs planning, guardianships, and estate administration.