Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) extend access to Medicare tele-health services in the heart of COVID-19.

Effective March 6th, 2020, Medicare Part B Medical Insurance now covers certain tele-health services.

Medicare beneficiaries receive a broader range of services from their doctors without having to travel to their facilities. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid is increasing this benefit on a temporary and emergency basis under the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act.

The benefits ensure that all Americans – predominantly those at high-risk of complications from the virus that causes the disease COVID-19  – are conscious of easy-to-use, accessible benefits that can help keep them healthy while helping to contain the community spread of this virus.

Medicare can pay for office, hospital, and other visits furnished via tele-health across the country. A range of providers including doctors, nurse practitioners and clinical psychologists will be able to offer tele-health to their patients.

For most tele-health services the costs are similar to those of in-person visits. The patient’s responsibility is 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for services received and the Part B deductible applies. Telehealth services include office visits and other services using interactive 2-way systems and real-time audio/video.

  • You can get Medicare tele-health services at renal dialysis facilities and at home, although you must have an in-person visit once a month for the first 3 months and once every 3 months thereafter.
  • You can get Medicare tele-health services for faster diagnosis, evaluation, or treatment of symptoms of an acute stroke no matter where you’re located.
  • Medicare also covers virtual check-ins and E-visits.