Medicare Prevention Screenings Health screenings are preventive maintenance that keep you feeling your best by improving your health and quality of life. There are a number of health screenings you should receive on a regular basis to help prevent diseases and detect illnesses early for easier treatment and a better prognosis. Medicare covers many of these preventive screenings. Which preventive screenings you are eligible for and how often you receive them depends on your age, gender and personal risk factors. Your doctor will recommend an appropriate screening schedule. All Medicare plan beneficiaries are eligible for a free annual wellness visit. This physical exam is important because it gives you the opportunity to discuss your current medical conditions, medications, screenings and personal family health history with your doctor. During these visits, you and your doctor can create a personalized wellness plan. The annual wellness visit complements the Welcome to Medicare Exam, available at no cost within the first 12 months of Medicare enrollment. Medicare plans also cover a number of free preventive benefits. They include: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening An abdominal ultrasound is covered for people at high risk who have been referred by their primary care doctor during their Welcome to Medicare preventative visit. Cardiovascular Screenings Medicare covers testing for cholesterol, lipid and triglyceride levels in your blood every five years to discover new or developing cardiovascular problems. If a Medicare recipient is already diagnosed with a cardiovascular disease, then annual screenings are covered. Colorectal Cancer Screenings Several different screening tests are available, including a fecal occult blood test, a flexible sigmoidoscopy, a screening colonoscopy and a barium enema. All Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for a colonoscopy screening. Other screenings may be covered for men 50 or older or at high risk. Your doctor will help determine which tests are best for you. Depression Screenings Medicare covers an annual depression screening from your primary care physician. Diabetes Screenings
Medicare covers diabetes screening when you have risk factors such as high blood sugar, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels, or obesity. You may qualify for up to two screenings per year based on your initial screening. Glaucoma Tests People at high risk for developing glaucoma are covered for one screening per year. HIV Screenings HIV screening for people with Medicare with a high risk for infection or pregnant are covered. Mammogram Screenings Medicare covers an annual breast cancer screening for women age 40 and older. A baseline mammogram is covered for women ages 35-39. Osteoporosis Screenings This is a bone mass measurement to determine your risk for broken bones. People at high risk are covered for a bone density screening once every two years, or more if necessary. Pap Test and Pelvic Exam Medicare covers these screenings every two years for eligible women. Women at high risk and women of childbearing age with an abnormal screening in the past three years also are covered for annual screenings. Prostate Cancer Screenings Annual digital rectal exams and PSA blood tests are covered by Medicare for men with Medicare over 50 years of age. Medicare plans also cover immunizations such as the flu vaccination, pneumococcal and hepatitis B shots. Free counseling to stop smoking and nutritional therapy for those with diabetes and kidney disease are also available. Obesity screening and counseling may be available for those with a body mass index of 30 or more. These preventative health screenings can help you avoid serious illnesses and diseases, or help you detect them early. For more information about Medicareâ€™s preventive services, visit www.medicare.gov. Follow the Medicare guidelines to ensure that your screenings are covered. The most effective way to stay healthy is to prevent illness before it occurs.
Published on Jan 25, 2012
Health screenings are preventative maintenance that keeps you feeling your best by improving your health and quality of life. There are a n...