Due to the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, many states issued stay-at-home orders along with business closure restrictions. These emergency restrictions have meant that affected restaurants have been unable to serve dine-in patrons, and instead, they have only been able to offer take-out, drive-thru or at-home delivery of prepared foods. This has not only allowed businesses to continue operating while retaining employees, but it has also provided a lifeline for individuals quarantined at home without access to grocery stores or other food sources.

Can Medicare Help Cover Meal Deliveries During Stay-at-Home Orders?

While Medicare benefits provide coverage for a large number of medical services, including during times of crisis, food service delivery is not a benefit that recipients can utilize. This applies not only to food delivery during coronavirus, but also to food delivery at any time.

The good news, however, is that many restaurants are offering free delivery during coronavirus. Additionally, some food delivery services are providing discounted delivery or are partnering with large restaurant chains to cover the cost of delivery for customers. This means that even though you may not be able to use Medicare benefits for food delivery during coronavirus restrictions, you may still be able to have food delivered at no cost or at a greatly reduced cost.

Follow Safety Precautions During Food Delivery

Although having food delivered is convenient, you still need to take safety precautions when you accept the delivery. Prior to your delivery driver arriving, ensure that you have washed your hands, and you may consider wearing a face mask during the exchange if you have a compromised immune system. Disposable gloves may also be worn when handling money or when using a pen to sign a credit card slip upon accepting your food. When the delivery driver leaves, consider moving your food out of any container that it came in to a plate or dish in your home. You can then safely dispose of the container, remove your mask and gloves and then wash your hands again.

If You Are Experiencing Coronavirus Symptoms

If you are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, there may be additional precautions to put into place before taking advantage of food delivery. To avoid spreading the virus, ask for contact-less delivery. Either pay online or leave cash in an envelope outside of your door for your delivery driver. Make sure you can watch the envelope from a window for safety while waiting on your driver.

Stay inside your home and allow the delivery professional to handle the exchange. Most online ordering systems allow you to leave special instructions for your driver, so consider leaving a comment that tells the driver where to leave the food and where to find the payment if you’re using cash. If the driver needs to communicate with you, use your phone instead of opening the door to talk. By taking these precautions, you can still enjoy the convenience of food delivery while keeping the driver and your community safe.

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