covers certain telehealth services.
For many telehealth services, you'll pay the same amount that you would if you got the services in person.
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.
Fraud alert: Watch out for providers you don’t know or haven’t met before contacting you to set up a telehealth appointment. They may offer you perks like cash payments or free prescription drugs to get your personal information, and then start billing Medicare for items and services you didn’t need or you didn’t get, like lab tests, braces or orthotics. If you suspect fraud, call 1-800-MEDICARE.
If you have coverage through Original Medicare or 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 2021 benefits.
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:
Telehealth includes certain medical or health services that you get from your doctor or other health care provider using audio and video communications technology, like your phone or a computer (or audio-only telehealth services in some cases). Some examples of Medicare-covered telehealth services include:
- Therapy and online counseling
- Prescription management
- Urgent care issues, like colds, coughs and stomach aches
- Post-surgical follow-up
- Treatment of recurring conditions, like migraines or urinary tract infections
- Treatment of skin conditions
- Lab test or X-ray result consultations
Medicare Advantage Plans and providers who are part of certain Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) may offer more telehealth benefits than Original Medicare. These benefits are available in a variety of places, and you can use them to get services at home instead of going to a health care facility. Check with your plan to see what additional telehealth benefits it may offer. If your provider participates in an ACO, check with them to see what telehealth benefits may be available.