Preventive screenings can help you feel your best and lower your Medicare costs.
The beginning of the year is the best time to schedule your annual wellness exam to discuss which preventive screenings are best for you. Fortunately, many preventive screenings are covered for Medicare beneficiaries, or for only the cost of your doctor’s visit. Make sure to schedule these screenings to help you feel your best and identify health concerns before they become chronic or untreatable.
- Mammograms and Prostate screenings – These are the most efficient screening methods to detect cancer in the earliest stage. These screenings should be done annually and are covered every 12 months.
- Colorectal Screenings or colonoscopy – colorectal cancer, colon cancer and many other intestinal conditions can be avoided with the proper screening. The most common way to detect these conditions and cancers is through preventive screenings; they can be detected by colorectal screenings or colonoscopies.
- Cardiovascular disease screenings – it is never too late to start being heart conscience. Eating right, losing weight if necessary, and getting active can help to correct past health mistakes and keep your heart healthy. Make sure to get a cardiac risk assessment before you make any serious lifestyle changes.
- Alcohol and depression screenings – preventive screenings will not only help you save money, but they can also improve your quality of life. Medicare will cover the cost of one depression screening and one alcohol misuse screening each year, as well as face to face counseling sessions if you meet certain criteria.
- Glaucoma tests – macular degeneration and glaucoma do not have any symptoms that you can see on your own, but can be easily detected with the right screening. Keep in mind that while Medicare generally does not cover routine eye exams, it will cover glaucoma tests once a year for people who are in a high-risk category.
- Obesity Screenings and counseling – Medicare covers behavioral counseling sessions to help you lose weight. This counseling may be covered if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more and get it in a primary care setting (like a doctor’s office), where it can be coordinated with your other care and a personalized prevention plan. Talk to your primary care doctor or practitioner to find out more.