CMS unveils app for Medicare beneficiaries to view coverage details

Screenshots from the iPhone version of CMS' "What's Covered" app. (iTunes/CMS)

Medicare beneficiaries now have a new app at their disposal to help keep track of their coverage details.

"What's Covered," which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released on iOS and Android on Monday, aims to quickly bring such information to users' mobile devices. It is part of the agency's recent eMedicare initiative that launched in October.

“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 in a statement. “This new app is the next in a suite of products designed to give consumers more access and control over their Medicare information.”

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CMS began working on the app after identifying a need for more comprehensive information on Medicare coverage. It noted in a release that questions about coverage are one of the most frequent inquiries it gets. The agency's 1-800-MEDICARE line receives 3 million coverage-related calls a year, and coverage content on Medicare.gov gets around 15 million page views annually.

The app now provides another solution: users can look up medical devices or services to find out how much Medicare covers and what they'll have to pay. It also lets users browse preventative health services for which they are already eligible.

RELATED: Preventive care falls short: Only 8% of U.S. adults receive all appropriate services

CMS also previewed some future tools that eMedicare is getting ready for 2019. They include interactive online decision support, an out-of-pocket cost estimator, new transparency tools, a new web chat option to help beneficiaries find plans and increased surveys to gather feedback from patients.

So far, the apps only contain information about parts A and B of Medicare.

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