COVID19: Three Things Medicare Beneficiaries Should Do
Coronavirus (COVID19) is a viral infection that effects people over the age of 60 and/or have underlying health conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (cdc.gov) those conditions include: Diabetes, Heart Disease and Lung Disease.
It is always important to do the basics like washing your hands, avoid crowded public spaces, avoid touching surfaces in public and avoid unnecessary travel during this time. There are three things you should be using your Medicare plan for right now:
1) If your plan has telemedicine use it! Always consult your primary care physician if you have symptoms but doctor offices may be overcrowded with people that are sick and that's the last thing you want to be around. Use telemedicine as a front line of defense to avoid unnecessary trips to the doctors office or urgent care clinics. There are lots of Medicare plans that include this for free.
2) Utilize your prescription drug mail order program. Pharmacies will be busy over the next few months and not only do the mail order prescriptions help you avoid person to person contact but also surfaces that may contain the virus. According to the CDC it may also transmit through surfaces https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html.
3) Many Medicare plans include Over The Counter (OTC) programs that let you stock up on vitamins, minerals, cold/cough and even first aid supplies. Now is a great time to explore the limits of such plans and load your medicine cabinet with essentials before the local stores run out.
Watch for symptoms like fever, cough and shortness of breath. Please don't waste anytime in not calling your doctor!