Barbara Fradkin – Hometown News
Q: Is preventative care covered by insurance?
A: Preventative health screenings can mean early diagnosis and treatment, improved quality of life– and a longer life. Medicare is now on board! These screenings use modern technology to identify potential problems before you have symptoms.
Cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, abdominal aneurysm, and atrial fibrillation are just a few illnesses that are “silent” in their early stages. Preventative screenings can discern what your body is not (YET) telling you. Work with your doctor to evaluate your risk for disease. While some risk factors are outside of your control (age, family history, etc.), preventative screenings provide new information.
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Fewer than half of adults age 65 years or older are up-to-date with core preventative services, despite regular checkups.
- That number drops to less than 30 percent for adults ages 50-64.
Medicare is now much better at covering preventative services! There’s a substantial list of covered services available without a co-pay. Your doctor can tell you what services are right for you.
When you first sign up for Medicare, your doctor will perform a “Welcome to Medicare” preventative visit. This needs to be done within the first twelve months of signing up for Medicare B. After that, your yearly “wellness visit” will cover different preventative care. Make sure you can memorize three words, because the wellness visit always include a short memory test!
Some of the preventative care covered by Medicare include yearly breast cancer screening, depression screening, diabetes screening and glaucoma testing, along with prostate cancer screening and pneumococcal, flu and COVID vaccines. The annual “Medicare & You” handbook lists many more covered services and is sent out at the end of September. Don’t toss it!
The next time you go to the doctor, ask about the preventative care that is available for you –and then take advantage of it! Take care of yourself and live a long and happy life.
One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. Send questions to askOSP@OneSeniorPlace.com or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging at OneSeniorPlace.com. Barbara Fradkin is a Social Worker, Certified Care Manager and the Director of One Senior Place, Viera.