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What are Medicare Preventive Services

Medicare preventive services, for most seniors, the great thing about turning 65 is your automatic eligibility to enroll in Medicare. This not only allows you to cash in on a service you’ve invested in your entire working life, it also allows you to reduce your overall cost of health care because of the free preventive screening services that Original Medicare covers.  If you need answers, call 920-545-4884 and keep reading for details.

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Many seniors who may have put their careers before their health are susceptible to many illnesses like diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, and lung disease that can eventually force them to give up their independence way too soon.

Fortunately, there are many organizations out there that are dedicated to helping seniors manage their health and lifestyles so that they might be less susceptible to the many life-altering illnesses that are likely to affect the healthy and unhealthy alike.

Medicare preventive services

The most common mistake that seniors can be guilty of is believing that conditions like diabetes, lung disease, and arthritis are just part of getting older when in fact many of these conditions that affect the elderly can be treated, and in many cases, prevented. According to the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, the most common illnesses and chronic conditions that are afflicting seniors are:

  • Adult-onset diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Kidney and bladder problems
  • Dementia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Lung disease
  • Cataracts
  • Osteoporosis
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Macular degeneration
  • Depression
  • Cardiovascular disease

Medicare Free Preventive Screenings and Services

Although Medicare Preventive Services and screenings are free,  that will likely help seniors to live longer and healthier lives, the CDC reports that less than half of America’s seniors are up-to-date with core preventive screenings and services.

Here is the list of preventive screenings and services that are covered by Medicare Part B and are completely free to Medicare beneficiaries:

Preventive Service

Who’s Covered

How Often

Abdominal aortic aneurysm screeningPeople with a doctor referral or anyone at riskA one-time ultrasound
Alcohol misuse screening and counselingSeniors who use alcohol but don’t meet the criteria for dependencyOne screening and up to 4 face-to-face counseling sessions per year
Bone mass measurementPeople at risk for osteoporosisOnce every 24 months
Breast Cancer Screening (mammogram)Women age 40 and olderOnce per year
Cardiovascular disease screeningAll Medicare beneficiariesOnce every 5 years
CardioVascular Behavior TherapyAll Medicare beneficiariesOnce per year
Cervical and Vaginal Cancer ScreeningsAll female Medicare beneficiariesOnce every 24 months or once per year if high risk
Colorectal Cancer ScreeningAll Medicare beneficiaries 50 or older
Fecal occult blood testOnce per year
Flexible sigmoidoscopyOnce every 4 years or 120 months after a colonoscopy
ColonoscopyOnce every 120 months or once every 24 months if high risk
Barium enemaOnce every 120 months or every 24 months if high risk
Multi-target stool DNA testOnce every 3 years if certain conditions are met
Depression ScreeningAll Medicare beneficiariesOnce per year
Diabetes ScreeningAll Medicare beneficiaries considered high riskUp to twice per year
EKG heart screeningAll Medicare beneficiariesOnce with ”Welcome to Medicare” exam and anytime thereafter at doctor’s request
Flu ShotAll Medicare beneficiariesOnce per year
Hepatitis B VaccinePeople at riskPer doctor’s order
Hepatitis C screeningPeople at riskOne screening unless high risk then yearly repeat screening
HIV screeningAll Medicare beneficiariesOnce per year or every 3 months if pregnant
Laboratory ServicesAll Medicare beneficiariesPer doctor’s orders
Lung Cancer ScreeningPeople age 55 – 77 who are current smokers or have quit within last 15 yearsOnce per year
Medical nutrition therapyAnyone in need with prescriptionOnce per year
Obesity screening counselingAll Medicare beneficiariesOnce per year
Prostate Cancer ScreeningMen age 50 or olderOnce per year
STI screening and counselingAll Medicare beneficiariesOnce per year unless pregnant
Smoking Cessation CounselingMedicare beneficiaries who smokeUp to 8 face-to-face sessions during a 12 month period
Welcome to Medicare examAnyone with MedicareOnce during the first year of enrolling in Medicare

It’s important to note that Medicare covers virtually any preventive and screening service that has been ordered by your physician, but the screenings listed above are 100% covered – they are free, even without a Medigap plan.

What is the Welcome to Medicare Exam?

Individuals who enroll in Medicare Part B are eligible for the “Welcome to Medicare” preventative doctor visit within the first 12 months after enrolling. This visit enables your doctor to develop a picture of your health status and then develop a plan for prevention and treatment of any current illnesses.

Typically, your doctor will do the following during this visit:

  • Review your current health status and review your medical history
  • Measure your blood pressure, weight, and height
  • Calculate your BMI (body mass index)
  • Perform a vision test
  • Review and discuss any potential risk for depression
  •  Review and discuss methods of prevention and wellness improvements

To assist your doctor in your wellness visit, you will be asked in advance to bring medical and immunization records, provide a brief history of your family’s health history, and provide a list of all prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements that you are currently taking.

When your exam is complete, your physician will provide a personalized plan of care recommending any screenings, immunizations, and other various screenings that would be appropriate for you. If there are any additional health concerns, your doctor will like schedule a follow-up visit or refer you to a specialist if medically necessary.

For more information about Medicare’s free preventive screenings and services, contact one of the Medicare specialists on the Medicare Solutions Team at (920)-545-4884 during normal business hours or you can contact us through our website at your convenience.

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