Can Telemedicine Improve Medicare Supplement Insurance Care?

As per President Trump’s  “Protecting and Improving Medicare for our Nation’s Seniors” Executive Order from October 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be accelerating and expanding Medicare coverage for telehealth services as a supplemental benefit for senior U.S. citizens in 2020. 

Telemedicine services

Telemedicine in Texas involves seeing state-licensed doctors and health specialists virtually over your computer or mobile device. They will assess your health condition, make a diagnosis, decide upon an appropriate treatment method, and prescribe medication that you can get at your nearest pharmacy. It is becoming a popular method of medical consultation as it is time-saving and pares down the waiting room crowd.

It also keeps you from being exposed to bacteria and viruses from the other patients and prevents you from spreading infection in your turn when you have a cold or the flu. Furthermore, if you have mobility issues or live in a remote location, with limited or no access to the medical care you need, the availability of telemedicine in Texas can certainly prove to be a boon.

Aside from this convenience, telemedicine insurance is affordable. Its payment model can adjust supplemental Medicare Advantage benefits. By offering cash or monetary rebates to Medicare beneficiaries, it allows them to share in the savings that come from the program.

Medicare covers telemedicine services

You can get health insurance coverage through Medicare Part B for some telemedicine services that are similar to in-person Medicare-covered medical services. These include physician consultations, health checkups, and psychiatric or behavioral health counseling. Some medical practitioners have also found telemedicine useful for treating people with addictions.

However, all the consultations have to be in a real-time video chat. They must be between qualified doctors or health professionals who are on the Medicare network and patients with Medicare insurance. There can be no coverage without a live two-way communication. The patient must also reside in the area that the Medicare plan covers. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services refers to your location as the originating site, and stipulates that to be eligible for coverage it must be:

  • In a rural county
  • In a geographic place that is a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA)
  • In a location outside of a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)

Additionally, you can only receive telemedicine services if you are in a rural health clinic, a hospital, a physician’s office, a skilled nursing facility, a critical access hospital, a federally qualified health center, or a hospital renal dialysis center.

As in the case of an in-person visit, you will have to meet your Part B deductible and then pay 20% of the Medicare amount. The cost of a telemedicine session will be the same as an in-person visit if you have taken a Medicare Advantage Plan from a Medicare-approved private insurance company.

Ways in which telemedicine can improve Medicare supplement insurance care

Telemedicine in Texas won’t replace in-person medical consultation and examination. It will be beneficial for giving medical advice and prescription medications for treating the chronic conditions that many aging Americans have. While these health problems require frequent visits to a physician, endocrinologist, urologist, and so on, many of the elderly patients also have mobility issues. With telemedicine, they don’t have to worry about missing appointments or undergoing the discomfort and stress of traveling to a hospital for a check-up every time they need medical attention. 

Along with being physically less demanding, telemedicine also facilitates better communication and more consultation time between patients and doctors. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to get medical advice from some of the top specialists in the field, even if they live in a different city or state. As long as they are on Medicare’s network, you will be able to connect with them at your mutual convenience and in real-time. Medicare supports medical professionals like physicians, nurses, midwives, social workers, psychologists, dietitians, and nutrition specialists.

The Presidential Executive Order will help to bring more innovative medical products and devices and advanced procedures and services to the market. It will also bring down medical costs. That will allow more patients to avail of high-quality medical services and have more healthcare choices through Medicare Supplement insurance care.

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