If you are a Beneficiary who is currently covered by Medicare we feel it is important that you are aware of covered services available to you through Medicare. This means that these services come with no deductibles or coinsurance costs, and many of these vital services can help you keep yourself healthy.
Annual Wellness Exams- Seeing a doctor regularly is key to identifying and treating minor health issues before they become major health issues. The good news is that Medicare has you covered. Within the first 12 months of enrolling in Part B, Medicare covers a one time initial examination known as a “Welcome to Medicare Preventive Visit.” All who are new to Medicare qualify for this visit. During this exam you can have your height, weight and blood pressure checked, along with having your vitals measured. A simple vision test, depression screening and referrals for other services are also a key point of this welcome visit. Your doctor will also be able to discuss other covered preventive services with you as well. After this initial visit, you will be allowed annual wellness visits, which must take place at least 11 months after your prior wellness exam. These visits will include similar services to your Welcome to Medicare visit, and they will allow your doctor to help you update your current list of prescriptions and providers. Like we said prior, there are no costs for these visits, however you could face coinsurance costs if the doctor performs additional tests or treatments that are not a part of your basic screening. If you are concerned about incurring costs, let your provider know up front that you do not want any services that will not be covered in full by Medicare.
Preventative Screenings- In addition to your annual wellness exam, Medicare also covers certain preventive disease screenings. Many conditions are easily treated the earlier they are caught. The list of covered screenings is quite extensive and cover such issues as Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes Testing, Glaucoma and Mammograms. Cancer screening are covered too, including screenings for Lung Cancer, Cervical Cancer and Colorectal and Prostate Cancer. Bone mass measurements can be taken annually for no charge to determine your bone density. You can also receive Obesity screenings and Weight Loss counseling if necessary. You can find a complete list of covered tests and screenings here.
Immunizations and Vaccines- In addition to the exams and screenings, you can also take advantage of free services designed to help you ward off potential problems. Flu shots, Pneumococcal shots and Hepatitis B shots are among some of the vaccines you can obtain at no cost through Medicare. (You can read complete details here) To take advantage of these, or other free services, you must obtain your care through a licensed doctor or other Medicare approved practitioner. It is imperative that you check to make sure your caregiver accepts Medicare Assignment, which means that the caregiver had agreed to obtain payment directly from Medicare and to charge you nothing above the fee that Medicare pays.
You owe it to yourself to take the very best care possible when it comes to your health as you get older. That means making sure to take advantage of these 3 key Medicare services that come at no cost to you. If you have Medicare related questions give us a call and we can help you get the answers you need.