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  • Boomer Insurance

Preventive Services Covered by Medicare: What You Need to Know

Preventive healthcare is essential for maintaining good health and catching potential issues early before they become serious problems. Medicare recognizes the importance of preventive care and offers a wide range of services to help beneficiaries stay healthy. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the preventive services covered by Medicare and how you can make the most of them.

The Importance of Preventive Services

Preventive services are designed to detect health issues at an early stage, often before symptoms appear, allowing for more effective treatment and better health outcomes. These services can help you manage your health, prevent illness, and improve your quality of life.

What Preventive Services Does Medicare Cover?

Medicare Part B covers a variety of preventive services with no out-of-pocket costs, provided that you meet the eligibility requirements and the services are delivered by a healthcare provider who accepts Medicare assignment. Here’s a list of some key preventive services covered by Medicare:

  1. Annual Wellness Visit:

  • Medicare covers a yearly wellness visit to develop or update a personalized prevention plan based on your current health and risk factors.

  1. Cardiovascular Screenings:

  • Blood tests to check cholesterol, lipid, and triglyceride levels are covered every five years.

  1. Cancer Screenings:

  • Breast Cancer: Mammograms are covered once every 12 months for women aged 40 and older.

  • Cervical and Vaginal Cancer: Pap tests and pelvic exams are covered every 24 months, or annually for those at high risk.

  • Colorectal Cancer: Various tests, including fecal occult blood tests, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and colonoscopy, are covered at different intervals based on your risk level.

  • Prostate Cancer: PSA tests and digital rectal exams are covered annually for men aged 50 and older.

  1. Diabetes Screenings:

  • Screenings for diabetes are covered for individuals at risk for the disease, including those with high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, obesity, or a history of high blood sugar.

  1. Flu Shots:

  • Medicare covers one flu shot per flu season.

  1. Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Screenings:

  • Screenings are covered for individuals at high risk for hepatitis B or C, and for those born between 1945 and 1965 for hepatitis C.

  1. HIV Screenings:

  • Annual screenings are covered for individuals at increased risk, including pregnant women.

  1. Bone Mass Measurements:

  • Covered every two years for individuals at risk for osteoporosis.

  1. Obesity Screening and Counseling:

  • Behavioral therapy for obesity is covered for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more.

  1. Tobacco Use Cessation Counseling:

  • Counseling to help stop smoking is covered for individuals who use tobacco.

  1. Vaccinations:

  • In addition to flu shots, Medicare covers vaccines for pneumococcal infections, hepatitis B (for those at medium to high risk), and COVID-19.

  1. Depression Screenings:

  • Annual screenings are covered in a primary care setting.

  1. Alcohol Misuse Screening and Counseling:

  • Screening for alcohol misuse is covered, with counseling sessions for those who screen positive.

Making the Most of Your Preventive Services

To fully benefit from Medicare’s preventive services, follow these tips:

  1. Schedule Regular Check-Ups:

  • Keep up with your annual wellness visits and any recommended screenings or tests.

  1. Stay Informed:

  • Keep track of when you’re eligible for each preventive service and make sure to schedule appointments accordingly.

  1. Communicate with Your Healthcare Provider:

  • Discuss your health concerns and any risk factors with your healthcare provider to ensure you’re receiving the appropriate preventive services.

  1. Utilize Medicare Resources:

  • Visit the official Medicare website or contact Medicare customer service for detailed information on coverage, eligibility, and finding providers who accept Medicare assignment.

Preventive services are a vital part of maintaining your health and preventing serious illnesses. By taking advantage of the comprehensive range of preventive services covered by Medicare, you can stay proactive about your health and enjoy a higher quality of life. Schedule your wellness visits, keep up with recommended screenings, and work closely with your healthcare provider to make the most of your Medicare benefits.

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