Updates on Medicare and COVID-19 Coverage

As your advisors in Medicare, we keep you informed on updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to you and your Medicare plan. We’ve collected important information for you to know now that states have started distributing the COVID-19 vaccine.

Three Approved COVID-19 Vaccines

To date, three vaccines have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.

According to the FDA, the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine only requires one dose, while the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses of the same vaccine to build immunity to the coronavirus.

Earlier this year, the J&J vaccine was paused due to reports of women under 50 years old experiencing a rare but serious condition called  thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) which involves blood clots with low platelets. This vaccine was recommended to resume by the CDC. While this condition is rare, the CDC notes that women under 50 years old should be aware of their increased risk and remember the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are other options to consider. You can learn more here.

Updated COVID-19 Guidelines

Each state has rolled out the COVID-19 vaccines differently. We highly recommend that you visit your state’s website for more information:

Ohio

More than 4.6 million Ohio residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, around 39 percent of the state’s population. The total Ohioans who have started their vaccine comes in at around 5.3 million as of June 1, 2021.Ohio announced that all statewide public health orders will be lifted on June 2, 2021. This puts an end to public health orders such as:

  • Facial covering protocols
  • Social distancing guidelines
  • Capacity restrictions for indoor and outdoor events

Federal health orders may still apply in facilities such as nursing homes, and businesses can still require customers to wear a facial covering or practice social distancing. We recommend reading the current guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Kentucky

As of June 1, more than 2 million Kentucky residents are vaccinated against COVID-19. Kentucky has also lifted its mask mandate in public places for vaccinated individuals, with the exception of:

  • Individuals riding on public transportation (including planes)
  • Anyone in a K-12 educational, preschool, daycare, or other childcare setting
  • Anyone in a health care or long-term care setting

The CDC’s federal health orders may still apply in certain settings, and businesses may still require customers to wear a facial covering.

Indiana

In Indiana, more than 2.5 million Indiana resident are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of June 1, 2021. Indiana’s mask mandate expired in April. We recommend following local public health orders as well as CDC guidelines.

Which COVID-19-Related Services Does Medicare Cover?

As the CMS previously announced, the COVID-19 vaccines are fully covered for Medicare beneficiaries both in- and out-of-network. This is because they are considered preventive.

Additionally, Medicare covers the cost of getting a COVID-19 test for individuals who may carry the virus. Medicare beneficiaries won’t be charged the Part B deductible or coinsurance for the test. However, you must order your test through a doctor. Medicare won’t cover a test if you order it directly.

You also won’t be charged for COVID-19-related services such as:

If you’re on a Medicare Advantage plan, you may have access to additional benefits.

COVID-19 and Medicare Fraud

It’s important to be on the lookout for Medicare fraud related to the coronavirus. Some examples of fraudulent activity to be cautious of include:

  • Someone offering to put your name on a list to receive the vaccine, but only if you pay a fee
  • A company promising you a reward or benefit at a price
  • Receiving a call or visit from someone offering COVID-19-related products, services, or supplies
  • Being asked for your Medicare Number or Social Security Number
  • Anyone who visits your home claiming to be a Medicare official

Please contact us if you suspected you’re being scammed.

If you have any further questions about your plan’s COVID-19 coverage, please reach out to our client advisors! Call us at 1-877-222-1942 or email [email protected].

New to RetireMEDiQ? We’d love to hear from you! Schedule a call with us here or call 1-866-407-5180.

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