Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for Medicare customers

Getting the right information about COVID-19 can be difficult.

That’s why we’ve created this page for you, so that you can get the answers you need from a source you trust. With everything going on in the world today, it's natural to wonder what's next. On this page you'll find answers to commonly asked questions and additional resources to help clear up some of uncertainty.

Watch the video below to view a message from Dr. Manoj Pawar, the Chief Medical Officer at Mutual of Omaha.

Dr. Manoj Pawar, Chief Medical Officer, Mutual of Omaha
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Hi everyone.

I’m Doctor Manoj Pawar, Chief Medical Officer at Mutual of Omaha.

As a medical doctor, a topic that’s a major focus of my attention is Coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Hearing from family, friends, patients, and customers like you, I understand first-hand how challenging this pandemic has been, and the strain it continues to create in our daily lives, both physically and emotionally. While we want to stay safe, it’s hard to not see friends or family in person as we would like.

Here’s the thing. While there’s no cure or vaccine available as of yet, remember that in the midst of everything going on there is good news.

Researchers across the globe are working around the clock to create a vaccine. We learn new things every day — from how the virus works to the effectiveness of new treatments. Every day we’re one step closer.

The other thing that gives me hope is that we know how to help reduce our exposure... and you have the ability to take control of your own risk of infection. Avoid the 3 C’s: Closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact situations. Simple things such as following physical distancing guidelines, wearing a mask, and washing your hands for 20 seconds with warm, soapy water, can help stop the spread.

In this case, little things mean a lot.

Another small thing you can do to help protect yourself is to have as much reliable information about the virus as you can. That’s why we created this page for you. We know there’s conflicting information out there, and we wanted you to have trustworthy, up-to-date information on things related to COVID-19. Some topics you’ll find here include...

  • What your Medicare coverage covers
  • Telehealth options
  • How to deal with stress
  • And more

So take your time and check out what we have here. As we have new information, we’ll be sure to update this page.

During uncertain times, it’s reassuring to have things you can count on. Mutual of Omaha is one. We're here for you and will continue to be.

Thank you and stay safe.

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New Tools in the Fight Against COVID-19

New vaccines are proving to be quite effective in preventing the illness. In fact, these breakthrough drugs can help fight variant strains as well.

And here’s more good news:

  • The United States has set a goal of vaccinating 100 million people by April 30.
  • Since health care workers have already been offered the vaccine, a key focus is now on adults 65 and older. Find a link to your state health department here to check on vaccine information in your area.

Now that there are authorized COVID-19 vaccines, it's important to get up-to-date, trustworthy information. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) answers many of your vaccination questions, including vaccine safety, distribution and availability.

Continue to be Vigilant!

Vaccines are just one tool in fighting COVID-19. Don’t forget these tips to help keep you safe.

What's Covered?

For Medicare patients, you can rest easy knowing that you have coverage to help pay for any COVID-related costs.

Between Medicare and your Medicare supplement insurance policy, your expenses related to coronavirus testing and treatment are covered.

Medicare covers:

A lab test to determine whether you have coronavirus when ordered by a doctor or health care provider. There’s no cost to you.

All medically necessary hospitalizations, including staying in the hospital under quarantine.

Virtual check-ins so you can connect with your doctor by phone or video so you can remain at home and avoid exposure to others.

Specific telehealth services have temporarily expanded to include evaluation and management visits, mental health counseling and preventive health screenings and are available to you wherever you live.

Learn more at Medicare.gov

What Medicare Supplement Policies Cover

Your Medicare supplement insurance policy covers many of the out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Medicare. Based on your policy, you may pay your usual deductibles, copayments and/or coinsurance.

If you decide to travel within the U.S., you can rest easy knowing your policy covers medical expenses incurred within the country. Some Medicare supplement policies also cover emergency care for foreign travel. See your policy for details.

Will My Doctor Or Hospital Cover COVID-19 Treatment?

Yes. And while it’s natural to want to stay at home to avoid contact, we encourage you to seek medical advice if you’re not feeling well.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges you to stay in touch with your doctor to manage any ongoing health conditions and to seek emergency medical care, when needed. They also stress the importance of continuing to take all medications as prescribed.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

What About Telehealth?

You may be hearing more about telehealth appointments, which are virtual video appointments with your doctor. Many doctor offices offer this alternative to in-person visits. Check with your doctor's office if you're interested.

If you do take advantage of telehealth, know that Medicare has temporarily expanded its coverage of telehealth services for things such as evaluation and management visits, mental health counseling and preventive health screens.

To learn more about telehealth, including Medicare's temporary expansion, please visit the sites below.

Coping With Stress

Did you know Medicare has temporarily expanded its telehealth offerings to cover mental health counseling and depression? This means that you have greater access to care during this time of increased stress.

Learn how you can take advantage of the new offerings on Medicare.gov.

Additional Information

As the saying goes, knowing is half the battle. If you have any of these symptoms, please contact your health care provider immediately for medical advice.

COVID-19 Symptoms

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Diarrhea

More Serious Symptoms

And since older people and people who have underlying medical conditions (like heart or lung disease or diabetes) seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness, please seek emergency medical care immediately if you or an older person exhibits any of these symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips on face

This list does not include all possible symptoms. To make sure you have the most up-to-date list, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) page on COVID-19 symptoms.

How to Stay Safe

The best way to avoid becoming infected with the coronavirus is to practice social distancing. This means avoiding large gatherings and staying at least six feet apart from others. When you do go out, or if you’re interacting with someone you don’t live with, it’s strongly recommended for everyone to wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose.

Other preventive measures include:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
  • Using a hand-sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
  • Covering your cough or sneeze
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Getting plenty of sleep, drinking lots of fluids and eating nutritious food

The CDC also recommends having enough groceries, medications and household items on hand to allow you to remain at home for a period of time. Should you become ill, the CDC asks that you do not visit your doctor’s office or an emergency room without calling ahead for instructions. This is to prevent potentially exposing health care workers and other patients.

You’ll find more information for high-risk individuals on the CDC website at CDC.gov.

How to Get Tested

If you’re wondering whether or not you should get tested, the CDC recommends you get tested if you...

  • Are experiencing any of the COVID-19 symptoms
  • Have been in close contact (within six feet) for at least 15 minutes with someone with confirmed COVID-19
  • Have been asked or referred to get testing by your healthcare provider, local or state health department

Not everyone needs to be tested, but if you are, be sure to self-quarantine/isolate at home until your test results come in.

To test for current infection, You can visit your state or local health department’s website to look for the latest local information on testing.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, call your healthcare provider first.

What to Do If You Test Positive

Here are ten tips on how to care for yourself and help protect others.

  1. Stay home. If you must go out wear a mask.
  2. Monitor your symptoms carefully. If your symptoms get worse, call your healthcare provider immediately.
  3. Get rest and stay hydrated.
  4. If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider ahead of time and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19.
  5. For medical emergencies, call 911 and notify the dispatch personnel that you have or may have COVID-19.
  6. Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow.
  7. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  8. As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available. If you need to be around other people in or outside of the home, wear a mask.
  9. Avoid sharing personal items with other people in your household, like dishes, towels, and bedding.
  10. Clean all surfaces that are touched often, like counters, tabletops, and doorknobs. Use household cleaning sprays or wipes according to the label instructions.

Resources

Mutual of Omaha has been helping people navigate through tough times since Medicare began. Explore our additional Medicare resources.

Learn More

Learn more about COVID-19 from the CDC

Current Policyholder? Access Your Account 24 hours, 7 Days A Week

Many common policy needs can be handled through our customer access portal. Registration is easy, just have your policy number handy. In your customer access portal you can do the following:

  • Update your information
  • Make a payment
  • Review your Explanation of Benefits (EOB)
  • Change billing preferences