We all need to prioritize our health, especially as we get older. Regular checkups and preventive services will make all the difference in catching health issues early and maintaining an active, fulfilling lifestyle. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of preventive services covered by Medicare!
Medicare offers a range of services designed to keep you healthy. Among these are preventive services - proactive healthcare measures that help detect health conditions at their earliest and most treatable stages.
Today, we’re going to take you through the myriad of preventive services covered by Medicare and help you unlock the potential of your health coverage.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that primarily serves people who are 65 years old and older. Younger individuals with disabilities and those diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease are also eligible for Medicare.
Medicare is divided into four parts, each covering a different aspect of your health needs.
Part A covers inpatient states in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. It also covers hospice care and some home health care. Part B covers outpatient services like doctor’s visits, lab tests, medical supplies, and preventive services. The services we talk about today all fall under Medicare Part B.
Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is an alternative to Original Medicare (Parts A and B). These are private plans that Medicare has approved for beneficiaries to use. While all Part C plans are different, most of them offer extra benefits not found in Parts A or B.
Lastly, Medicare Part D is for prescription drug coverage. You can enroll in a standalone Part D plan, or one may be included in your Medicare Advantage plan if you go that route.
Preventive services encompass a range of healthcare services designed to prevent illnesses before they cause any significant harm. These services are crucial because they help detect health issues at their earliest stages when they are often easier (and cheaper!) to treat. Plus, most preventive services try to help you avoid the onset of diseases altogether.
Preventive services can be broadly classified into three categories:
Screenings: These are tests that check your health before you show any signs or symptoms of a disease. Screenings can catch diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease in their earliest and most treatable stages.
Immunizations: Immunizations, or vaccinations, are shots that can prevent harmful diseases. Immunizations are not just for children. Adults, especially older adults, can benefit from vaccinations against diseases like flu, pneumonia, shingles, and more.
Counseling services: Counseling services provide advice to help you make health decisions. They can cover a wide range of topics, from quitting smoking to eating a healthier diet to making decisions about end-of-life care.
Medicare covers a wide variety of preventive services in all these categories. Many of these services are covered without any out-of-pocket costs if you meet certain criteria.
It’s time to take a closer look at the preventive services covered by Medicare. The list here covers the most frequently-used services, but the full list is quite long. You can find a complete list and costs over at Medicare.gov.
Annual Wellness Visits: Medicare covers an annual wellness visit with your doctor to create or update your personalized prevention plan. This visit is a chance to take a comprehensive look at your health and plan for your future healthcare needs.
Cardiovascular disease screenings: Medicare covers blood tests to check cholesterol, lipid, and triglyceride levels every five years. These screenings can help detect heart disease early.
Bone mass measurements: This test helps to see if you're at risk for broken bones. It's covered once every two years for individuals who meet Medicare's criteria.
Diabetes screenings: If you're at risk, Medicare covers two diabetes screenings each year. Early detection of diabetes can lead to more effective management of the condition.
Colorectal cancer screenings: Medicare covers several types of colorectal cancer screenings meant to detect early signs of cancer. These include fecal occult blood tests, flexible sigmoidoscopies, colonoscopies, and more.
Flu shots: Annual flu shots are covered under Medicare Part B. Staying up-to-date with your flu shots is an easy way to prevent the flu.
Other vaccinations: Medicare covers the vaccines for pneumococcal disease and hepatitis B for individuals at risk. It also covers the shingles vaccine under Part D.
HIV screening: Medicare covers HIV screenings for individuals at increased risk or who ask for the test.
Obesity screening and therapy: If you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, Medicare covers face-to-face behavioral counseling sessions to help you lose weight.
Mammograms: Medicare covers an annual screening mammogram for all women with Medicare age 40 and older.
Prostate cancer screenings: Medicare covers a yearly PSA test for all men with Medicare over age 50.
Tobacco use cessation counseling: If you use tobacco, Medicare covers up to 8 face-to-face visits in a 12-month period to help you quit.
Other key preventive services: There are many other preventive services covered by Medicare, including lung cancer screenings, depression screenings, alcohol misuse screenings and counseling, and more.
Staying active and healthy as we age is not just about treating diseases and conditions as they happen - it's about preventive care that keeps us thriving and catches potential issues early. Utilizing the preventive services covered by Medicare is a proactive way to ensure you're giving your health the priority it deserves.
Understanding and managing your Medicare benefits, especially when it comes to preventive services, can be complex. But you don't have to navigate these waters alone. At Local Medicare Specialists, we're dedicated to providing you with personalized guidance that helps you maximize your Medicare benefits. Use our website to find a Medicare advisor in Arizona who can guide you through the process and help you make informed decisions about your healthcare. Embrace the opportunity to enhance your health, your wellness, and your life. It's never too early or too late to start prioritizing your health.
Schedule a FREE Medicare plan consultation with an agent in your neighborhood.
LocalMedicareSpecialists.com is privately owned and operated by LMS Insurance LLC. LocalMedicareSpecialists.com is a non-government resource for those who depend on Medicare, providing Medicare information in a simple and straightforward way.
We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area which are United Healthcare, Aetna, Humana, Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Centene, Devoted, and Scan. Please contact Medicare.gov, 1-800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program to get information on all of your options.