The federal government has announced that the treatment will be available with no cost-sharing for patients. Understand current Medicare coverage, and how it applies to COVID-19 treatment payments.
Money Talks News’s recent article entitled “Medicare to Cover New Coronavirus Treatment” says that treatments in settings such as a doctor’s office, nursing home, or infusion center will now be covered without cost-sharing for those with Medicare, the federal health insurance program for seniors and people with certain disabilities.
This COVID-19 coverage (which started on November 10) is for monoclonal antibody infusions in facilities where “safety precautions can be met,” according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS.
This coverage includes having access to medications that can treat anaphylaxis and other severe infusion reactions.
The day before the CMS announcement, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization for an investigational monoclonal antibody therapy for the treatment of mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 in patients at high risk for becoming severely ill, and/or who are likely to require hospitalization. It’s called bamlanivimab.
The CMS announcement is the most recent expansion of Medicare coverage to help treat the disease.
Medicare and private insurance will also pay for any coronavirus vaccine that is approved early.
Medicare is a federal program that provides health insurance to Americans. It’s frequently called Original Medicare. It has two parts—Part A and Part B. Part A covers inpatient hospital and skilled nursing care, and Part B covers doctor visits and outpatient care.
Private Medicare plans are optional and provide more coverage. Medicare Advantage plans (also known as Part C) combine Part A and Part B coverage and may have drug coverage and other benefits you don’t receive with Original Medicare.
Medicare prescription drug plans (Part D) help pay for medications. Seniors can buy a standalone Part D plan or get a Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug coverage.
Medicare supplement insurance or “Medigap” helps pay some or all costs not paid by Original Medicare, such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance.
Reference: Money Talks News (Nov. 12, 2020) “Medicare to Cover New Coronavirus Treatment”