Telehealth

Telehealth

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)

 covers certain telehealth services.

Your costs in Original Medicare

You pay 20% of the 

Medicare-approved amount

 for your doctor or other health care provider’s services, and the Part B 

Deductible [glossary]

 applies. For most telehealth services, you'll pay the same amount that you would if you got the services in person.

Note

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency, doctors and other health care providers can use telehealth services to treat COVID-19 (and for other medically reasonable purposes) from offices, hospitals, and places of residence (like homes, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities) as of March 6, 2020. Coinsurance and deductibles apply, though some healthcare providers are reducing or waiving the amount you pay for telehealth visits.

If you have coverage through a Medicare Advantage Plan, you won’t have to pay out-of-pocket costs (called cost-sharing) for COVID-19 tests. They may also offer more telehealth services than what was included in their approved 2020 benefits.

Note

To find out how much your test, item, or service will cost, talk to your doctor or health care provider. The specific amount you’ll owe may depend on several things, like:

  • Other insurance you may have
  • How much your doctor charges
  • Whether your doctor accepts assignment
  • The type of facility
  • Where you get your test, item, or service

 

What it is

Medicare telehealth services include office visits, psychotherapy, consultations, and certain other medical or health services that are provided by an eligible provider who isn't at your location using an interactive 2-way telecommunications system (like real-time audio and video).

These services are available in rural areas, under certain conditions, but only if you're located at one of these places:

  • A doctor's office
  • A hospital
  • A critical access hospital (CAH)
  • A rural health clinic 
  • A Federally qualified health center
  • A hospital-based dialysis facility
  • A skilled nursing facility
  • A community mental health center
Note 

Starting in 2020, Medicare Advantage Plans may offer more telehealth benefits than Original Medicare. These benefits can be available in a variety of places, and you can use them at home instead of going to a health care facility. Check with your plan to see what additional telehealth benefits are offered.

Things to know

Medicare made these changes to telehealth in 2019:

  • You can get Medicare telehealth services at renal dialysis facilities and at home.
  • You can get Medicare telehealth services for faster diagnosis, evaluation, or treatment of symptoms of an acute stroke no matter where you're located.
  • If you’re being treated for a substance use disorder or a co-occurring mental health disorder, you can get Medicare telehealth services from home.
  • Medicare also covers virtual check-ins and E-visits.

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