Urgent care centers are becoming increasingly popular across the country. Many Medicare recipients appreciate the convenience and shorter lines, but it can be difficult to determine what Medicare covers. Fortunately, if you are among those wondering “Does Medicare cover urgent care?”, the answer is relatively straightforward.
Does Medicare Cover Urgent Care?
The real question is “Does urgent care take Medicare?”. Each urgent care center may vary on the types of insurance they accept, just the same as any other doctor’s office or hospital. As long as the urgent care center accepts Medicare, your claims should be approved.
Often, the easiest way to find an urgent care that accepts Medicare. You can also use Medicare’s handy locator tool to find centers that accept Medicare in your area.
If you are traveling and you need medical attention, you can rest assured that your coverage should not change. As long as you see a provider that accepts Medicare, they will take your supplement no matter what company you have your policy with, and without paying more. We recommend that our clients make a note of what urgent care centers accept Medicare before traveling to their destination.
What Is the Medicare Urgent Care Copay?
Medicare Part B covers urgent care. This means that whatever you currently pay to see the doctor will most likely be what you have to pay at an urgent care facility. If you only have Medicare A & B you will most likely need to pay for 20% of your visit, and if you have a Medicare Supplement the portion you are responsible for should be even less. For instance, if you have a Medicare Supplement Plan F you should not have to pay anything for your visit, including any testing that you receive.
If your supplement does not cover copays, you can expect a copayment of up to $20 for each visit. If you have a deductible but have not met it for the year, you will most likely need to pay it when you receive the bill in the mail. It is important to remember to wait until you received the bill to pay your deductible, and never to pay it up front. Waiting for the bill will help prevent you from accidentally over-paying for your services.
What Urgent Care Services are Covered by Medicare?
Any of the approved services that you would receive by your doctor should also be covered at an urgent care center. These services may include:
- Annual physicals
- Some vaccinations
- Treatment for non-life-threatening illness
- Lab work
The Urgent Care Center Said They Accept Medicare, but Not My Coverage. What’s That About?
As long as you are on Original Medicare if the urgent care center says they accept Medicare they should take your coverage. When seniors encounter this situation, it is often because they have a Medicare Advantage Plan, and did not realize that they are no longer on Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans have their own network, which may reduce the number of places you can seek treatment.
In addition, some providers may offer both Medicare Supplement plans and Medicare Advantage plans. If an urgent care center accepts Medicare, they have to take Medicare Supplements from all providers, even if they don’t accept that company’s Advantage plan.
What Happens if I Go to an Urgent Care Center That Doesn’t Accept Medicare?
If you seek treatment at an urgent care center that does not accept Medicare, you will most likely have to pay the entire cost out-of-pocket. Medicare may reimburse you if your treatment was an emergency, but it is best to avoid taking a financial risk by choosing a center that accepts Medicare.
Medicare Supplements and Urgent care
A Medicare Supplement can help reduce the costs of future medical bills, compared to just Medicare alone. To learn more about if this is the right coverage for you, or to compare rates if you are currently covered, give us a call at (800)310-2550. You can also use our free Medicare Supplement quote tool to see what plans and rates are available in your area.