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My Medicare Matters–Preventive Services are Underutilized by Beneficiaries

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Did you know you are able to receive many FREE preventive services through your Medicare? Preventive services are provided without charging your annual part B deductible or the typical 20% coinsurance. 

Medicare preventive services and screenings are tools you can use to help self-manage your health.

Getting health screenings on a regular schedule helps find health concerns early, when they are most treatable or even curable. 

The annual “Wellness Visit” involves answering questions on a health risk assessment. This helps you and your provider develop a personalized prevention plan to help you stay healthy and get the most out of your visit. The visit will also include a review of preventive services, including education and counseling on screenings and recommendations for shots or vaccines as well as referrals for other care, as needed.  Your doctor may order other tests, depending on your general health and medical history. Some extra tests might not be covered under preventive benefit, so you might have a deductible or coinsurance cost. 

Other underutilized preventive tests and screenings include prostate tests, Hepatitis B and C screenings and Hepatitis B shots, Glaucoma tests, depression screening, diabetes screening, the Diabetes Prevention Program (for those who are at-risk or “pre-diabetic”, not for those already diagnosed) cardiovascular screenings, mammograms, bone density tests, cervical and vaginal cancer screenings, colorectal cancer screenings, lung cancer screenings, abdominal aortic aneurysm screenings, and more! With a doctor’s referral, Medicare even covers Medical Nutrition Therapy services with a Registered Dietitian if you have diabetes or kidney disease.

Please get the most bang for your healthcare buck by utilizing the preventive services of Medicare.

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