Trying to figure out coverage for a specific service? Medicare has a new app that might help. The What’s Covered app makes it easy to access information on Medicare coverage for specific medical items and services.
The eMedicare Initiative
The new app is designed for beneficiaries enrolled in Original Medicare, as well as their caregivers and other who may be interested in the information.
According to a press release from CMS, the number of Medicare enrollees is expected to increase by almost 50 percent by 2030, reaching more than 80 million beneficiaries. Furthermore, the majority of Medicare beneficiaries say they use the internet every day or almost every day.
The new app is part of the eMedicare initiative. CMS Administrator Seema Verma said, “eMedicare is one of several initiatives focused on modernizing Medicare and empowering patients with information they need to get the best value from their Medicare coverage.”
How It Works
You can download the app on your mobile device. Once it’s installed, you can use it to search for an item or service by typing it into the search bar or by browsing for it in the alphabetical listing. There’s also a separate list of preventative services.
Once you pick an item or service, the app will tell you whether or not it’s covered. If it is covered, you’ll get information on the out-of-pocket costs and anything else that’s important to know, such as how often a service is covered.
The app’s design is simple and uncluttered, with a large font and graphics that are easy to understand. The “Help” button provides phone numbers to call and a link to Medicare.gov.
Not everyone is satisfied, however. A glance at the reviews indicates some initial frustration with the app. Some people have already complained about poor search results and not being able to find the services needed. The app is brand new, though, so it’s possible that updates will help address any problems, and some users have provided high ratings.
Another issue stems from the focus of the app. It only covers Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. This means that you won’t be able to use it to find information on prescription coverage through Medicare Part D. It also excludes Medicare Advantage plans and the additional services they often cover.
Enrollees in will have to consult their Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage providers for information on these plans.
Where to Get It
The app is free to download. You can get it at the Google Play Store or at the Apple Store.