Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage both cover important preventative services that are necessary to help you maintain your health. The services outlined below are some of the most valuable and important aspects of Medicare coverage. Utilizing the preventative services recommended by your doctor could be a life-changing decision that could greatly improve your health.
WHAT IS MEDICARE PART B?
Medicare Part B is the medical insurance component of Medicare. It covers services from doctors and other health care providers, hospital outpatient care, durable medical equipment, and home health care
It also covers a variety of preventative services to help maintain your health and to keep certain illnesses from getting worse. Keep reading to learn about the different types of preventative services covered under Medicare Part B.
WHAT IS MEDICARE ADVANTAGE?
Medicare Part C- more commonly known as Medicare Advantage- includes all benefits and services covered under Medicare Part A and Part B, and usually includes Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) as part of the plan.
Medicare Advantage is run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies and may include extra benefits and services for an additional cost.
WHY IS PREVENTATIVE CARE IMPORTANT?
Preventative care is an essential part of staying healthy. In fact, some may argue that it is the most important thing you can do to manage your health. Preventative care promotes disease prevention and offers early detection services. This means a little time spent for yearly check ins with your doctor could save you a lengthy hospital visit down the road. Research shows time and time again that treatment works best if started in the early stages of a disease. That’s why it’s critical to follow through on the preventative care procedures recommended by your doctor. And with Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage, the majority of those preventative services are covered.
7 PREVENTIVE SERVICES COVERED BY MEDICARE PART B AND MEDICARE ADVANTAGE
- Initial “Welcome to Medicare” visit: Both Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage cover an initial appointment with a physician. During the appointment, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your medical history as well as any health issues that occur in your family. You’ll go through routine measurements like weight, height, and blood pressure and receive a personal assessment for your health. This is a great opportunity to meet with a doctor to discuss any concerns or issues. You’ll leave the appointment with any preventative care screening recommendations as well as a list of risk factors and treatment options. This initial meeting will set the stage for your health journey on Medicare and should leave you feeling comfortable and confident about the quality of care you receive.
- Screenings: Medical screenings are another preventative service covered by both Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage. A majority of screenings are covered, including cancer screenings, cardiovascular screenings, diabetes screenings, and sexually transmitted disease screenings. They also include select mental health preventative services like depression screenings. It’s important to have any recommended screenings completed so you can prevent any major issues from occurring.
- Shots: Shots are also covered by Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage. Your annual flu shot falls under a preventative service, as do others like Hepatitis B. Take full advantage of this service and get all the shots your doctor recommends.
- Counseling: You may be surprised to learn that there are many counseling services covered by both Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage. Some examples include alcohol misuse counseling, obesity counseling, tobacco use cessation counseling, and sexually transmitted disease counseling. Under Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage you can get the counseling assistance you need to regain control of your health and make positive changes.
- Annual wellness visits: In addition to your yearly flu shot, an annual wellness visit is covered by Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage. This is a critical part of maintaining your health. Take the time to meet with your doctor to ensure that you are staying on track. Your visit will be very similar to your initial “Welcome to Medicare” appointment. This is a great time to discuss any changes in your medical history and mention any issues or health scares to your doctor. If necessary, your doctor may suggest completing another preventative service item on this list as a way to prioritize and sustain your health.
- Pap/pelvic exams: It’s important for women to have annual pap/pelvic exams. These vital services are covered by Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage. Mammograms are also covered as well.
- Lab tests: There may be a time when your doctor requests that you complete lab work as a way to check on or verify your health. These lab tests are covered by Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage. Lab tests can provide critical information about your health and are a very important preventative service.
ADDITIONAL PREVENTATIVE CARE SERVICES PROVIDED BY MEDICARE ADVANTAGE
In addition to the preventative services listed above, Medicare Advantage covers the following items as well:
- Annual routine physical exams: While annual wellness visits are covered by Medicare Part B, annual routine physical exams are not. These visits are more comprehensive than a wellness visit and involve a physical examination to screen for disease or potential risk factors. The appointment may include a heart exam, lung exam, and neurological exam. This additional preventative service is very helpful for maintaining your health and may be available depending on the type of Medicare Advantage plan you select.
- Dental and vision care: While Medicare Part B covers many preventative services, it doesn’t provide coverage for dental or vision care. Medicare Advantage plans can include dental and vision care in addition to the items listed above. By receiving routine dental and vision care, you can help prevent larger problems from occurring down the road.
- Prescriptions: Sometimes the key to preventative care is being on the appropriate medication to maintain your health. Medicare Part B does not cover the cost of prescriptions, but some Medicare Advantage plans do.
Preventative care is an essential part of taking care of your health. Thankfully, a wide variety of preventative services are covered under both Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage. The above list is a great starting point to help you learn about the services covered by Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage. However, there is so much more to learn. The better you understand Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage, the more you can use the benefits available for you to use to your advantage.