By the GWAAR Medicare Outreach Team — for reprint
After a long winter, the signs of spring are sprouting up all around us. Now is a good time to focus on your health so you can enjoy all that this season has to offer. Taking advantage of Medicare preventive benefits is the perfect way to spring into better health!
Preventive services can help you prevent illnesses and detect health problems early, when treatment works best. People with Medicare have access to a wide range of preventive tests and screenings, most at no extra cost. If you’re new to Medicare, a “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit is covered during the first 12 months you are enrolled in Part B. The visit includes a review of your medical and social history as well as education and counseling about preventive services, including certain screenings, shots and referrals for other care, if needed. Once you’ve had Part B for longer than 12 months, you can get a yearly “Wellness” visit to develop or update a personalized prevention plan based on your current health and risk factors. Note: The Wellness visit is not the same as an annual physical exam.
You pay nothing for the “Welcome to Medicare” visit or yearly “Wellness” visit if your doctor or other health
care provider accepts Medicare assignment. If additional tests or services are performed during the same visit that aren’t covered under the preventive benefit, you may have to pay coinsurance, and the Part B deductible may apply.
Medicare also covers screening tests for breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity management, and osteoporosis, just to name a few. You can find a complete list of Medicare-covered preventive services in your Medicare and You 2021 handbook or on the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov. Talk to your doctor about what screenings and shots are right for you.
For local assistance with Medicare questions or other health insurance counseling, contact the ADRC of Eagle Country, Richland Center office at 608-647-4616