12 Free Health Preventive Tests and Services
Did you know once you sign up for Medicare at age 65, you are entitled to a variety of preventive tests and services. Screenings are provided with no out-of-pocket costs for men and women age 65 and older.
“Welcome to Medicare” Preventive Visit. A one-time doctor’s office appointment is covered with no out-of-pocket costs during the first 12 months that you are enrolled in Medicare Part B medical insurance.
The “Welcome to Medicare” visit typically includes a review of your medical history, a weight and blood pressure check and a simple vision test. You may be offered the opportunity to set up advance directives that specify the kind of health care you would like to receive if you become too ill to make further decisions.
Annual Wellness Exam. Medicare provides a Free Annual Wellness visit to men and women age 65 and older in order to manage and prevent illness. This doctor’s office exam generally includes routine measurements, a review of medications and personalized health advice. – Here are some of the free preventive services Medicare beneficiaries are eligible to take advantage of.
Bone Mass Measurements are covered once every 24 months with no out-of-pocket costs to Medicare beneficiaries. This test determines if you are at risk for broken bones due to osteoporosis. Men and Women with low bone density have a higher risk of bone fractures.
Cardiovascular Disease Screening – Tests for Cholesterol, Lipid and Triglyceride levels are covered by Medicare once every Five years with no cost-sharing requirement. High levels of cholesterol might mean you have a greater risk of heart disease and stroke.
Colonoscopy – Colorectal cancer screening is covered for Free once every 120 months (or 24 months for high risk patients). In addition to detecting colorectal cancer, this procedure can find pre-cancerous polyps in the colon and remove them before they become cancerous. *However, if a polyp is removed during the colonoscopy you may have to pay 20 percent of the cost of the doctor’s services and a copayment to the medical facility. Several types of related tests are also covered, such as a fecal occult blood test once every 12 months.
Depression Screening – Medicare provides Free depression screenings that are conducted in a Doctor’s office or other primary care setting.
Diabetes Screening – People with diabetes often do not make enough insulin, which results in dangerously high blood sugar levels. Medicare covers up to Two Blood Screenings to detect diabetes per year for people who are at risk for the disease.
Flu Shot – The flu can be a life threatening illness for older people. Medicare provides Free flu shots once each Flu season. Several other preventative shots are also covered, including a Pneumococcal vaccine and Hepatitis B vaccine for those at medium or high risk for the disease.
Mammogram – The screening test for Breast Cancer is covered by Medicare once every 12 months. Retirees typically won’t be charged a co–pay for their mammogram.
Pap Test – Medicare covers Cervical and Vaginal Cancer screenings, which also often include a Pelvic exam and Clinical Breast exam, once every 24 months. *Women with a high risk for cervical or vaginal cancer are eligible for annual screenings.
Prostate Cancer Screening – Medicare covers the Blood test that detects the amount of prostate specific antigen in the blood once every 12 months with no out-of-pocket cost. *However, you will likely have to pay 20 percent of the cost of a digital rectal exam.
STD Screenings. Medicare will pay for 100 percent of the cost of many sexually transmitted infection tests, including screenings for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and hepatitis B once every 12 months.