Health Care defines preventive services as routine health care that includes screenings, check-ups and patient counseling to prevent illnesses, disease or other health problems. The idea behind preventive services is to screen and actively defend against certain issues you could potentially have in the future. Sometimes, when you have one health issue, it can snowball into other kinds of health issues before you know it. Because of this, it’s important to take precautionary steps to avoid other future health problems.
The good news is that Medicare pays for many of these types of services, some of which, you may not even realize are covered!
The services Medicare provides can reveal problems to you early on before they are severe, so you can take steps to prevent them. Some of the services Medicare provides include exams, shots, health monitoring programs, counseling and education.
Once you know what’s covered, you can begin fully taking advantage of your Medicare coverage.
If you meet certain requirements, Medicare covers:
Weight Loss Counseling
Medicare Part B covers behavioral counseling sessions to help with weight loss for people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. You can talk to your primary care physician for more information about this benefit.
Nutrition Therapy Services
Medicare Part B covers medical nutrition therapy (MNT) services. A dietician or nutrition professional who meets Medicare’s requirements can provide services, such as an initial nutrition and lifestyle assessment, one-on-one counseling on nutrition, and a follow-up meeting to measure your progress in your diet management.
Diabetes Screening, Education and Supplies
Medicare Part B covers screenings for diabetes and may cover up to 10 hours of outpatient diabetes self-management training to educate you on how to manage your diabetes. It also includes various supplies for individuals with diabetes, such as insulin, blood sugar testing monitors and blood sugar test strips. While these services are covered by Part B for diabetics, there is generally a copay for the trainings and supplies.
In addition to diabetes screenings, Medicare Part B also covers screenings for a variety of common diseases and conditions. Among the screenings covered are: cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, breast and cervical cancer, prostate cancer, bone density and glaucoma. In each case, there will likely be a charge for the office visit and for certain screenings, you are required to pay a portion of the overall cost.
Before scheduling your appointment, we recommend confirming that the provider and facility are in-network with your Medicare plan. Some screenings have additional eligibility requirements, so be sure to check here to verify if a specific screening will be covered for you.
Smoking and Tobacco Use Cessation
Medicare Part B covers up to 8 face-to-face visits of counseling to stop smoking or using tobacco products within a 12-month timeframe. A doctor or other practitioner who is Medicare-recognized must provide these visits.
We encourage you to prioritize your health! Your Medicare annual wellness visit or your next scheduled office visit is the perfect time to talk to your doctor about any of these services you are interested in receiving, and any additional concerns you may have.