Preventive Screenings: What’s Recommended, What’s Covered by Medicare

May 6th, 2014 | Posted by Trystan L. Bass in Baby Boomers | Health & Lifestyle | Medicare Coverage
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Preventive Screenings: What's Recommended, What's Covered by MedicareTo keep in your best shape and catch problems while they’re easier to treat, you need preventive screenings for a variety of health conditions.

Fortunately, the most commonly recommended tests are generally covered by Medicare, especially if you are in a high-risk category.

Preventive screenings for women

For women over 65, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends these preventive screenings, which are covered by Medicare Part B unless otherwise noted:

  • Blood pressure screening — Covered as part of your yearly “wellness” visit.
  • Cholesterol screening — Covered once every five years.
  • Colon cancer screening — Some types of tests may be covered at different rates by Original Medicare, if your doctor says you are at high risk.
  • Diabetes screening — Covered if you have high blood pressure.
  • Mammograms — Covered once every 12 months.
  • Osteoporosis screening — Covered if your doctor says you’re at high risk.

Preventive screenings for men

For men over 65, the NIH recommends these preventive screenings, covered by Medicare Part B benefits unless stated otherwise:

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm — Covered if your doctor says you are at high risk.
  • Blood pressure screening — Covered as part of your yearly “wellness” visit.
  • Cholesterol screening — Covered once every five years.
  • Colon cancer screening — Some types of tests may be covered at different rates by Original Medicare, if your doctor says you are at high risk.
  • Diabetes screening — Covered if you have high blood pressure.
  • Prostate cancer screening – Covered once every 12 months.

Other preventive services covered by Medicare

For both women and men, these immunizations are also recommended:

  • Flu shot every year — Covered by Medicare Part B.
  • Pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccine — Covered by Part B benefits.
  • Shingles or herpes zoster vaccine — May be covered by Medicare Part D.

Now that you know what preventive screenings are available under Medicare, make sure to talk to your doctor about which ones are best to keep you healthy.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.

About

Trystan L. Bass is a contributing writer for the Plan Prescriber blog. She’s been writing and editing on the Web for over 15 years and has published articles on lifestyle, travel, environmental, high-tech, and health topics.

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