Medicare 101

Medicare Preventive Benefits

Christian Worstell

by Christian Worstell | Published October 08, 2020 | Reviewed by John Krahnert

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies and preventive servicesPreventive care includes screenings and services that can help catch certain illnesses early, before they develop into more complicated, debilitating conditions.

Medicare Part B offers coverage for the following preventive services.

One-Time “Welcome to Medicare” Preventive Visit

Take advantage of this introductory visit in the first 12 months of having Part B. Your "Welcome to Medicare" visit includes a review of your medical and social history as it relates to your health, and provides education and counseling about preventive services, including:

  • A review of your medical history
  • Height, weight and blood pressure measurements
  • A calculation of your body mass index (BMI)
  • A simple vision test
  • A review of your potential risk for depression
  • A written plan letting you know which screenings, shots, and other preventive services you’ll need and when

Yearly Wellness Visits

After having Part B for longer than 12 months, you are eligible for an annual “Wellness” visit to develop or update your personalized prevention plan (based on your current health and risk factors).

NOTE: Some screenings and services may seem like disease-preventing measures, but don’t necessarily meet certain criteria for preventive services by Medicare’s definition. Always check with your doctor or other health care provider to make sure a service or screening is covered by Medicare.


Covered Services

People with Medicare Part B are covered for the following preventive and screening services (certain conditions may apply):

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening
  • Alcohol misuse screening and counseling
  • Bone mass measurements (to measure density)
  • Breast cancer screening (mammograms)
  • Cardiovascular disease screenings and behavioral therapy
  • Cervical and vaginal cancer screening
  • Colorectal cancer screenings
  • Depression screenings
  • Diabetes screening and self-management training
  • Glaucoma tests
  • Hepatitis C screening test
  • HIV screening
  • Lung cancer screening
  • Medical nutrition therapy
  • Obesity screening and counseling
  • Prostate cancer screening
  • Tobacco use cessation counseling
  • Vaccinations (Flu, Hepatitis B, and Pneumococcal shots)

Learn more about common procedures that medicare covers.

Get Help Paying Your Out-of-Pocket Costs

Medicare Supplement Insurance plans help cover some of Medicare's out-of-pocket costs, including at least partial coverage for your Part B coinsurance. To find out what Medigap plans are available in your area, call 1-800-995-4219 and speak with a licensed insurance agent.

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See how the 10 Medigap plans differ. Review our chart for a detailed comparison of Medicare Supplement insurance benefits and compare Medigap options where you live. Read more
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