Turning 65 is a big milestone. It means you’re eligible for Medicare, the federal health insurance program that covers millions of Americans. Even after you sign up, you’ll likely have questions about whether Medicare will cover your service or medical test. Well, good news — there’s a FREE app that can provide cost and coverage information at your fingertips. Read more about the app below.
Overview of Medicare Coverage
Medicare offers many benefits that recipients aren’t aware of.
While Medicare doesn’t cover everything (long-term care, acupuncture, etc.), it covers more than you might think. For example, Original Medicare covers durable medical equipment (DME) for hospital beds, wheelchairs, and walkers. It also provides coverage for skilled nursing care and some home health care.
The What’s Covered app is a quick, easy way to find out if Original Medicare covers your procedure.
Quick List of App Features
- Available in English AND Spanish
- Search enhancements based on consumer feedback
- There’s also a “Help” and “Browse” section
- If you’ve ever used Google, you’ll know how to use the app
- It was updated in the spring of 2019 — make sure you have the latest version installed
How to Download the App
For Android, you’ll want to load Google Play. For users with iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, etc., go to the Apply App Store and search for “Medicare” or “What’s Covered.”
Make sure that the app developer is CMSgov (Android) or Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (Apple) to verify you’re downloading the real app. When you open the app, you’ll first see a search box, and you can type the item or service in that box to see if it’s covered by Medicare. Sounds simple, right? If you’re new to apps or smartphones, don’t be intimidated.
With that said, if you can’t find a certain item or service, check with your doctor to see if Medicare will cover it. The app will remind you to do this.
According to the Google Play Store, the app has received mixed reviews. When the app was released, consumers voiced concerns about its usefulness, saying that it lacked information and wanted it to function like searching on a website. Typing in specific search terms, like hip replacement, shoulder surgery, or knee replacement, would not directly tell the user if that certain issue was covered by Medicare.
Since then, CMS has been working hard to improve the app for all users. One man stated in February 2021 that the app helped him understand his Medicare options and figure out which plan to choose.
The Medicare app generally lists standard, broadly covered services. It’s a nice addition, but it’s not a substitute for talking to your doctor. Plus, most people with Medicare have supplemental coverage (Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplements) — and the app doesn’t clarify how these plans add to your existing coverage.
On a positive note, “What’s Covered” developers have updated the interface and may continue adding to the range of capabilities.
Need Help? Work with a Licensed Expert
The new Medicare App can answer some of your questions and make your life a bit easier on your way to the doctor. However, technology isn’t perfect. If you need help navigating your coverage options, contact Secure Insurance Group. You’ll get a licensed expert who is your advocate, acting in your best interest!