Preventive healthcare is an important part of keeping seniors healthy. In practical terms, preventive services include a list of measures taken by healthcare professionals to help prevent disease down the road. Preventive services such as exams, lab tests, and screenings can find early signs of disease when treatment is less difficult and more effective. Treatments combined with health monitoring, counseling, and education for managing and modifying lifestyle behaviors can help stave off serious diseases that shorten life spans. Does Medicare cover preventive care? Yes, Medicare covers a list of preventive services through Medicare Part B (medical insurance) including a yearly wellness visit and a “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit.
What are the advantages of preventive health care?
There are many advantages of preventive health care including increased lifespan, higher quality of life, and cost savings for both the individual and the Medicare program. Seniors who take advantage of preventive services may live longer and healthier lives by reducing incidences of disability and disease and save themselves money on expensive disease management in the process.
According to healthypeople.gov, evidence-based preventive services are effective in reducing the risk of life-threatening and debilitating illnesses, including:
Certain cancers, such as breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and cervical cancer
Chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease
Infectious diseases, such as chicken pox, pneumonia, and influenza
Mental health conditions and substance abuse issues
Once seniors have been enrolled in Medicare for more than a year, they become eligible for a Medicare Yearly Wellness Visit. Kupuna are also entitled to a one time “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit.
What You Need to Know About the “Welcome to Medicare” Preventive Visit
After signing up for Medicare, seniors should take advantage of the “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit that is offered once within the first 12 months after enrolling in Part B.
As long as the doctor or other health care provider who takes care of the visit accepts Medicare assignment and only covered services are provided, the visit is 100% covered (the Part B deductible doesn’t apply). The only way that you would end up paying coinsurance and the Part B deductible is if the health care provider performs tests or services outside of those covered by the “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit.
When you call to make your appointment, let your doctor’s office know that you are scheduling your “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit.
What services are included in the “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit?
The preventative visit provides a review of your medical and social history in the context of your health and education. It also provides counseling for preventive services. Visit medicare.gov for a complete list of services.
What should I bring to the “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit?
In order to get the most out of your wellness visit, you should bring the following to your appointment:
Medical records, including your immunization records
Your family health history
A list of any prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and supplements that you currently take, how often you take them, and why you do so
Our independent insurance agents are dedicated to assisting people on Medicare and those who are ready to transition from employer coverage to personal retirement coverage. We help kupuna understand their benefits options and apply for additional coverage, as needed. Because we represent all the major Medicare Advantage and supplement plans in Hawaii, we are able to offer unbiased advice; all at no cost to our clients.
At PBC, our clients are our number one priority and we look forward to getting to know you and your needs. Call us today at (808) 738-4500 to see how we may be of assistance.