This article was updated February 22, 2018.
Enrolling in Medicare is one of the most important steps seniors can take in order to ensure a more solid future for their health. It is more than the hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, and home health services covered under Medicare Part A in case of an emergency situation. It is also about prevention.
Why preventive care is important
Medicare covers a lot of preventive testing services under Medicare Part B, in addition to a yearly appointment to meet with your doctor to discuss your preventive care plan, that can help you avoid future health problems. Whether you have Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage, as long as you meet the eligibility, you can receive these services.
During your first yearly visit with your doctor, you should be ready to discuss things such as your medical and family history, list of medications, providers and durable medical equipment (DME), and risk factors for chronic and mental health conditions.
Medicare Part B covers:
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening
- Alcohol misuse screenings and counseling
- Bone mass measurements
- Breast cancer screening and mammograms
- Cardiovascular disease screenings
- Cardiovascular disease therapy
- Cervical and vaginal cancer screening
- Colorectal cancer screenings
- Depression screenings
- Diabetes screenings
- Diabetes self-management training
- Glaucoma tests
- Hepatitis C screening test
- HIV screening
- Lung cancer screening
- Nutrition therapy services
- Obesity screenings and counseling
- One-time “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit
- Prostate cancer screenings
- Sexually transmitted infections screening and counseling
- Flu shots
- Hepatitis B shots
- Pneumococcal shots
- Tobacco use counseling
- Annual wellness visit
How much preventive services cost
Original Medicare won’t have coinsurance or a deductible for some preventive testing as long as you see a doctor that accepts the Medicare-approved amount. Medicare Advantage covers the same testing as the original plan. In order to ensure Medicare is covering these screenings, make sure to check the coverage guidelines frequently.
However, there are certain preventive services that require a payment of 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount after the annual deductible is paid. Some of the services that fall in this category are glaucoma tests, diabetes self-management training, and rectal exams.