Medicare Preventive Services: What is Covered?

As the saying goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and as you get older, taking preventative measures can keep you healthy. And if you are a Medicare beneficiary, there are a number of preventive services available to you. Anyone with Medicare Part B has access to the following preventive services:

Initial Physical Exam

If your Medicare Part B coverage begins on or after January 1, 2005, Medicare will cover a one-time “Welcome to Medicare” preventive physical exam within the first six months that you have Part B. Additionally, those at risk for abdominal aortic aneurysms may be referred for a one-time ultrasound at their initial exam.

Cardiovascular Screening

Medicare covers one test every five years to check your cholesterol and other blood fat levels. 

Cancer Tests

Medicare covers breast cancer screening (mammograms) once a year for women over age 40; cervical and vaginal cancer screening (pap test and pelvic exam) once every two years for all women; colon cancer screening (colorectal) every year to every four years, depending on the test; and prostate cancer screening (PSA) every year for men.

Shots

Medicare covers flu, pneumococcal, and Hepatitis B immunizations.

Bone Mass Measurements

For women, Medicare covers bone mass measurements to check if you are at risk for fracture due to osteoporosis. The test is covered once every 24 months.

Diabetes Medicare covers up to two diabetes screenings per year. In addition, it covers glucose monitors, test strips, and lancets for individuals with diabetes and offers self-management training 

Glaucoma Tests 

One glaucoma test is covered each year for people at high risk for glaucoma.

For some of these tests, beneficiaries in regular Medicare pay nothing; for other tests, Part B’s 20 percent copayment applies. For more information from Medicare.gov about what preventive services are covered, click here.

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