Medicare Part B, known as Medical Insurance, offers beneficiaries coverage for many important medical services and supplies. Many beneficiaries wonder if they need this coverage when they are first eligible for Medicare, especially if they are generally healthy. Aside from the late enrollment penalty you may have to pay if you don’t sign up when you are first eligible, there is another important reason to consider Part B coverage – Preventive Services!
Although Part B is optional, many beneficiaries realize how important this coverage can be. If you are approaching Medicare eligibility, you know that you have choices to make. If you get Original Medicare, you have the option to enroll in Part B coverage. You would have to pay a monthly premium for Part B, but if you delay enrollment and decide to enroll later on, you will likely pay a late enrollment penalty for the rest of your time on Medicare. If you choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage (MA) Plan, you will need Part A and Part B coverage.
Medicare Part B coverage includes many preventive services that can help you maintain your good health, now and in the future. Important screenings and exams can help physicians detect disease early, when treatment is more effective. What types of preventive services are offered? Your Medicare coverage begins with a Welcome to Medicare exam, which allows you and your doctor the opportunity to discuss issues and concerns you may have, and establish a partnership that will help you manage any health care issues that may arise. This exam also will give your doctor important information about your current health as well as your health history. Once you are enrolled in Medicare, you will have an annual Wellness Visit that will keep the communication open between you and your physician, and allow you to address any medical needs you may have.
Preventive services include an array of screenings and exams that can help your physician diagnose disease so that you can be treated and/or cured. These screenings vary depending on your medical needs, risk factors, and family history. These preventive services can include:
- Cardiovascular disease screenings
- Diabetes screenings
- Glaucoma tests
- Vaccinations including flu, pneumococcal shots, and Hepatitis B shots
- Bone mass measurements
- Cancer screenings
- Obesity screenings and counseling
- Prostate cancer screenings
- Cervical and vaginal cancer screenings
When you make your Medicare decisions, consider your health now and in the years ahead, and make sure you have the coverage that is best for you.