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Medicare Unveils New App to Tell You What's Covered

Users can quickly search by test and procedure

Woman using a smarphone

Alamy Stock Photo

En español | If you’re not sure whether Original Medicare will pay for a particular test or medical service your doctor says you need, the answer could be as close as a new app on your phone or other mobile device. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled the new tool called “What's Covered” on Monday.

It is available in GooglePlay and the AppleApp Store. You can look for a particular service or test by typing a description into the search bar, and the app allows you to browse all services via an alphabetized list of everything from acupuncture to yearly wellness visits. It also provides a list of preventative services that Medicare pays for, and a help feature lets you call the Medicare hotline (800-Medicare; 800-633-4227) or takes you to the full website.

The app is part of the CMS eMedicare initiative, which is focused on “modernizing Medicare and empowering patients with information they need to get the best value from their Medicare coverage,” says CMS Administrator Seema Verma. CMS officials say questions about what Medicare covers account for about 15 million page views on the agency’s website each year, and the Medicare hotline gets more than three million coverage-related calls every year.