COVID-19 Outbreak Brings Telemedicine to the Forefront

CPAs & Advisors

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The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak — officially a pandemic as of March 11 — has rightly become the focus of massive public attention in recent weeks. Vice President Mike Pence has been charged with leading the U.S. government’s response to the outbreak.

On March 10, the White House met with executives of major private health insurance companies. Pence said that the companies had agreed to cover telemedicine for patients for any reason for the next few months — no matter the reason for seeking medical treatment. The insurance representatives attending the meeting also agreed to cover COVID-19 treatment and waive copayment fees for COVID-19 testing.

On March 17 at a White House press conference, it was announced that Medicare would now be offering a wide range of services via telemedicine.

These measures are intended to keep sick and at-risk patients at home, encourage testing for COVID-19, make treatment more affordable, and potentially reduce the severity and duration of the outbreak. Pence said the companies gathered represent almost 240 million Americans.

Contact your insurance provider for the details of your plan’s coverage. In the case of Medicare, contact your doctor for information. And visit the CDC website for the latest developments on the COVID-19 outbreak.

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