Medicare offers many free preventive services to help you live a healthier life. These included perks will help you remain healthy and strong as you age, provided you take advantage of them! Here are five free Medicare services that you should start using today:
- Annual Wellness Exam – Medicare Part B covers a yearly check-up if you’ve had Part B for longer than 12 months. Use this time to create a plan with your doctor for prevention and wellness going forward. Taking advantage of this yearly visit will keep you healthier and help you to avoid illness and complications in the future.
- Diabetes Screenings – Medicare Part B covers two diabetes screenings per year if you have risk factors such as high blood pressure or a family history of diabetes. Medicare is also expanding the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP), which offers counseling and intervention to prevent type 2 diabetes from developing. The goal of MDPP classes is at least 5% weight loss by participants. Make use of either or both of these programs if you are at risk. Medicare will reimburse patients in the MDPP program based on whether they reach the 5% weight loss.
- Tobacco Use Cessation Counseling – Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. Under Medicare Part B, you are covered for eight face-to-face visits in a 12-month period. The only qualifier is that the doctor is Medicare-recognized and that he or she accepts assignment. To get help now, call the National Network of Tobacco Cessation Quitline at 1-800-QUIT NOW.
- Bone mass measurements – As you age, osteoporosis and broken bones can become a problem. Medicare Part B covers a bone mass measurement every 24 months, or more often if medically necessary. You must meet one or more of these conditions: are estrogen deficient, have osteoporosis, are taking prednisone, or have primary hyperparathyroidism.
- Depression screenings – Depression can be silent but it can affect lives greatly. Medicare Part B covers one depression screening per year. Make sure to use this screening if you think you might be depressed. It’s not something to sweep under the rug. Physical symptoms can sometimes be signs of depression and you might not even know it. Depression can also mimic dementia in mental decline; but with depression the decline is rapid while with dementia it is slow. It’s important to know that depression is a medical condition that can be treated.