Medicare 101: Preventive Services
Medicare Preventive Services
Welcome to Medicare” and Annual “Wellness” Visits
Few things are more important than preventive care when it comes to maintaining your health. Regular checkups and diagnostic procedures are the key to detecting many health concerns in their earliest stages, when the prognosis and chances for a full recovery are best. Especially when it comes to serious conditions such as cancer and heart disease, the earlier you know what you’re up against, the better.
What they say about cars applies to our health. A little maintenance and problem prevention now is likely to save a lot of trouble and heartache in the future. And money. Not only can preventive care save your life, it can save you thousands of dollars over the course of your lifetime.
Your “Welcome to Medicare” Preventive Visit
Medicare preventive care begins with your “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit, a comprehensive examination offered during your first year on Medicare. During this visit you and your doctor or qualified non-physician practitioner will discuss your current health conditions and prescriptions, review your medical and family history, and do tests and screenings to help set the course for your most effective future care. After the visit, you will receive a plan or checklist outlining further screenings or preventive services that are recommended for you.
The “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit is free to most people enrolled in Medicare. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, the “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit is available to you, but you should check with your plan to find out whether your visit will be free.
Although your Medicare preventive visit is available during the first 12 months you’re on Medicare, you should schedule your visit as soon as possible after enrolling in Medicare.
Yearly “Wellness” Visits
You are eligible for your first annual “wellness” visit 12 months after your “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit. If you did not have a “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit, you are still eligible for annual “wellness” visits.
Each “wellness” visit focuses on developing or updating your personalized plan to prevent disease based on your current health and risk factors. Under Original Medicare, you pay nothing for your yearly “wellness” visit if your health care provider accepts assignment. If you get additional tests or services during the same visit, you may have to pay coinsurance, and the Part B deductible may apply, if these tests or services are not covered under these preventive benefits.
Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, and Medicare Supplement Plans can all go a long way toward providing the preventive care you need to maintain your good health. If you have further questions about preventive health care or any other aspect of Medicare, contact MedicareMall now and let us lead you with confidence through the Medicare maze!