A new smartphone app called “What’s Covered” was released in January to give Original Medicare beneficiaries an easier way to find out if medical items or services will be covered by the program.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is launching this app as part of their “eMedicare” initiative designed to strengthen Medicare and help those covered by the program make better health decisions by making information clearer and more easily accessible online. There is also a price comparison tool available online that is part of this initiative.
“What’s Covered” focuses on Original Medicare which includes part A hospitalization coverage, Part B outpatient coverage, and optional Part D drug coverage and Medigap supplemental coverage. About two thirds of Medicare beneficiaries have Original Medicare, while about a third have Medicare Advantage (Part C) which is provided by private companies that are contracted by the government.
In some cases where the coverage of a procedure or service is not a straight yes or no, this app also lists the conditions that need to be met in order for that treatment to be covered by Medicare.
As technology continues to become an increasingly valuable and useful part of our lives and the fact that Medicare population continues to grow (it is projected to grow from about 60 million people today to more than 80 million by 2030), this app looks to be a very useful resource both for Medicare beneficiaries and for caregivers and loved ones in researching treatment options to find the best care possible.