There’s a new eMedicare app developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for your smartphone. It’s a new “price transparency” Medicare mobile app. This app shows Medicare enrollees which medical services and tests are covered.
Hold on there, trigger. Before you get all excited and race out to the Google Play or the Apple Store to download it, there are a few things you should know. Unfortunately, the information within the app only helps probably 33% of the Medicare population. If you’re on a Medicare Advantage plan, it doesn’t help you at all. Likewise. if you’re on Original Medicare and have a Medicare Supplement plan, it also doesn’t help you.
So for the 33% of you who are on Original Medicare and only have a Part D drug card, this app is (maybe) for you. Probably not. The app is basically a web-friendly version of this Medicare webpage.
Have you ever wondered whether or not air-fluidized beds are covered under Medicare? Me either.
How about hyperbaric oxygen therapy? Yes, it’s covered.
The app – named “What’s Covered” – provides users with accurate and up-to-date details regarding coverage and costs. In theory, Medicare users are able to quickly and easily determine whether or not a service in the doctor’s office, the hospital, or any other clinical setting is covered by their Medicare Part A and Part B (Original Medicare) plans.
I guess that’s nice to know, but what it doesn’t do is tell you how much it’s going to cost you to have the actual procedure. That’s a major gap and makes me wonder why they spent money on this at all. This information can already be found in your Medicare and You handbook, and on their own webpage.
The What’s Covered app provides a list of preventive services that are covered via Original Medicare. According to Medicare, the app is just one of many new features that comprise eMedicare – a program that has been used to provide consumers with access to valuable information in a way that makes sense.
According to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, “We’re adding new online features to make it faster and easier to find and compare Medicare coverage options, and to quickly see estimates for what that coverage will cost.” Verma goes on to say that, “Over the next few years, we’ll continue to improve and transform to provide a more convenient, accessible, and personalized Medicare experience.”
Yawn. If you want to follow eMedicare on Facebook, apparently you can click through using the app. Or, you could… just… do it through… wait for it…. Facebook.
Is it worth your time to download it now? Not at all. Hopefully Ms. Verma continues to improve what currently is essentially a mobile-friendly webpage, turned into an app. If you’re looking to figure out how to shop for medical procedures, there’s a cool startup attempting to do just that. Check them out by clicking here.
Got a Medicare question? We love questions. Contact us.
Author Bio: Ben started Prepare for Medicare in 2014 to help people help people get objective answers to questions about Medicare. He’s held leadership roles at numerous Fortune 500 Medicare health insurers in product development, sales, marketing and strategy for over 20 years.
Medicare “What’s Covered” App Aims for Price Transparency. The free app will improve price transparency for Medicare members by providing accurate information about the cost and coverage of services. HealthPayer Intelligence. Xtelligent Healthcare Media.