New App Displays What Items Medicare Covers
What’s Covered app lets beneficiaries can get up-to-date coverage information on items.
- By David Kopf
- Jan 31, 2019
CMS has launched What’s Covered, a new smart phone app that lets beneficiaries with Original Medicare, caregivers and other healthcare professionals quickly check whether an item or service is covered by Medicare.
Consumers can now use their mobile device to more easily get accurate, consistent Original Medicare coverage information in the doctor’s office, the hospital, or anywhere else they use their mobile device.
The What’s Covered app is available for free in both Google Play and the Apple App Store. The app is available in Google Play at: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gov.medicare.coverage, and is available in the Apple App Store at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/whats-covered/id1444143600?mt=8.
What’s covered is intended to bypass what CMS predicts will be a gigantic avalanche of coverage questions in coming decades. Medicare population is projected to grow by bearly 50 percent by 2030—from 54 million beneficiaries in 2015 to more than 80 million beneficiaries in 2030. Questions about what Medicare covers are some of the most frequent inquiries that CMS receives. There are approximately 15 million page views annually for coverage-related content on Medicare.gov and 1-800 MEDICARE receives over 3 million coverage-related calls each year.
In addition to the What’s Covered app, the agency is enabling beneficiaries to connect their claims data to applications and tools developed by private-sector companies to help them understand, use, and share their health data.
The technology making that possible is called Blue Button 2.0, an application programming interface (API) that contains four years of Medicare Part A, B and D data for 53 million Medicare beneficiaries. These technological developments are all part of CMS’s 2018 eMedicare initiative.
Other eMedicare offerings include:
- Online decision support to help people evaluate their Medicare coverage options and understand the costs between Medicare and Medicare Advantage.
- A new online service that lets people quickly see how different coverage choices will affect their estimated out-of-pocket costs.
- New price transparency tools that let consumers compare the national average costs of certain procedures between settings, so people can see what they’ll pay for procedures done in a hospital outpatient department versus an ambulatory surgical center.
- A new web chat option in the Medicare Plan Finder.
- New easy-to-use surveys across Medicare.gov so consumers can continue to tell us what they want.
“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,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.
David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.