For many, a new year means a commitment to their health. It’s important to be current on what your Medicare benefits cover and the current screening schedules for routine testing.
During the first 12 months of activating their Medicare Part B, new Medicare beneficiaries should utilize their “Welcome to Medicare” preventative visit with their doctor.
This visit includes your doctor reviewing your medical and social history related to your health and includes certain screenings, shots, and referrals for other care, if needed. It includes height, weight, and your BMI calculation. Also included are blood pressure measurements, a simple vision test, and a depression screening. A recent addition to this visit is a consultation on creating an advanced directive. The doctor should then give you a written plan letting you know which screenings, shots, and other preventive services you need.
If you’ve had Part B for longer than 12 months, you can get an annual wellness visit.
Annual wellness visits are to develop or update a personalized prevention plan based on your current health and risk factors. This visit is covered once every 12 months.
IMPORTANT! This visit doesn’t include lab tests, or any DIAGNOSTIC testing. You may be responsible for payment for lab or diagnostic testing performed during your visit. It is important for you to visit www.Medicare.gov to see when certain screenings are covered by Medicare at zero cost to you otherwise you may be paying for many of these “routine” tests out of your own pocket. These common tests have a rotation varying from every 12 to 60 months. For example; Breast Cancer Screenings- 12 months; Cardiovascular Disease Testing- 60 months; Cervical and Vaginal Cancer Screening- 24 months; Prostate Cancer Screening Exams- 12 months.