Preventive care is so important to reach your health goals. Make sure you keep up with routine tests and screenings. They can help spot health issues early when they're easier to treat. When you turn 65 and are eligible for Medicare, talk to your doctor about which tests and screenings are right for you.
We're highlighting some common preventive tests and screenings that are covered by Medicare Part B. You won't have to pay for these if your doctor accepts Medicare.
1. Breast cancer screening (mammograms)
A mammogram can catch breast cancer at early stages, which can make it easier to treat. Medicare Part B covers one baseline mammogram for women ages 35 to 39. Part B also covers screening mammograms once every 12 months to check for breast cancer if you're age 40 or older. Medicare covers both digital and 3D mammography for screening. Part B covers diagnostic mammograms more frequently than once a year if medically necessary.
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2. Depression screening
Feeling good both physically and mentally can make all the difference to your overall health. If you're not feeling like your usual self, it's important to talk to your doctor. It may feel overwhelming to discuss your mental health, but don't worry, you're not alone. There are many treatments available to help you get back to feeling better. The first step is asking your doctor about a depression screening. You're covered under Medicare Part B, so you'll pay nothing. After your screening, your doctor may recommend certain behavioral health services that can help you. Read more about services and treatments covered by Medicare.
3. Diabetes screening
Diabetes affects more than 25% of Americans who are 65 or older. It's important to talk to your doctor about getting screened. You may be eligible for up to two diabetes screenings per year (it depends on the results of your tests). If you're at risk for diabetes, Medicare covers a blood screening test to check for diabetes. You just need to get a referral from your doctor. If you have diabetes, Medicare covers educational training to help you manage your diabetes. Plus, many Medicare Advantage plans offer diabetes support programs and coverage for blood glucose supplies. Just talk to your health insurance provider to find out.
4. Prostate cancer screening
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, according to the American Cancer Society. It may be found by testing the amount of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) in your blood. Your doctor can also find prostate cancer during a digital rectal exam. Generally, you pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for the digital rectal exam after the yearly Part B deductible. You pay nothing for the PSA test. Who's covered? All men over 50 with Medicare. Your coverage begins the day after your 50th birthday. Both tests are covered once every 12 months.
5. Obesity screening and counseling
Maintaining a healthy weight or losing a few pounds can feel daunting, but it doesn't have to be. With Medicare, you're covered for an obesity screening. Just talk to your primary care physician (PCP) about getting screened. If you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 more, Medicare will cover intensive behavioral therapy to help you lose weight. You pay nothing for this service if your PCP accepts Medicare.
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