Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, telemedicine has seen a surge in popularity. More and more patients are opting to meet with their doctors remotely in order to protect themselves from the virus.

Medicare has adjusted its approach to telemedicine in response to the pandemic, too. Keep reading to learn what these changes mean for you and get a closer look at how you can use telemedicine to look after your health.

What is Telemedicine, Exactly?

Telemedicine is a growing type of medicine that allows patients to interact with physicians through 2-way telecommunication systems, such as real-time audio and video. Telemedicine is being used for office visits, psychotherapy, consultations, and other medical services that can be administered without physical proximity between doctor and patient.

What Are the Benefits of Telemedicine?

Telemedicine services provide patients with a number of benefits. Chief amongst these is the convenience that they offer. With telemedicine, a patient is able to receive a doctor’s care without having to drive to their office or sit in a waiting room. This can be especially helpful to patients with busy schedules and those who live far away from their primary care physician.

Telemedicine is also extremely helpful in the control of infectious illnesses. Its spike in popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic is a prime example of this. With it, doctors are able to see their patients without having to expose them to others’ germs.

Telemedicine may also enable specialists to provide better assessments to their patients. For example, it can be beneficial for allergists to see their patients in their home environments. Doing so can provide them with additional information regarding the causes of their patients’ allergies.

How Does Medicare Treat Telemedicine?

Medicare covers certain telemedicine services. If the service that you need qualifies for telemedicine support under Original Medicare, then you’ll only have to pay 20% of its costs out-of-pocket.

Notably, Medicare has recently begun increasing the number of covered telemedicine services. Here’s an overview of some of the most commonly-used ones:

  • General services, such as annual wellness visits, general consultations, and evaluation
  • Kidney disease evaluation and self-management training
  • Mental health assessments, interventions, and psychotherapy
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Nutrition therapy
  • Obesity counseling
  • Cardiovascular disease behavior therapy
  • And many others
Is Medicare Advantage Better for Telemedicine?

Medicare Advantage plans offer all of the telemedicine services that you would have coverage for under Original Medicare. Some plans may also offer expanded telemedicine coverage to include services that wouldn’t be covered under Medicare Part A or B.

It’s also worth noting that Medicare Advantage plans tend to have fewer geographical limitations than Original Medicare plans. This can be valuable to patients who are seeking telemedicine coverage from specialists or physicians who live outside of their home area.

How Can I Learn More?

Want to learn more about Medicare’s coverage for telemedicine services? If so, get in touch with a partnered licensed agent through Time for 65.

Agents can provide you with personalized plan recommendations based on the types of telemedicine services that you’d like to have access to. You can contact one today by either filling out this form or giving us a call.