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NEW!!! Take a Minute for Medicare

Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) is pleased to start a new series of articles on subjects that are of interest to all Medicare beneficiaries. Please visit our website and Facebook page on the 25th of every month for a new article.

The first Take a Minute for Medicare will be on Medicare’s Preventive and Screening Services and will be a series of 3 articles that will inform you of the free services available under Medicare.  

What are Medicare Preventive and Screening Services?

Medicare covers many preventive care services in order to promote your health and wellbeing. If you have Original Medicare, you will pay no coinsurance or deductible for certain preventive care services if you see a health care provider who accepts Medicare assignment. When Medicare pays 100 percent of the approved amount as it does with most preventive care, you receive the services free of charge. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, your plan cannot charge you for preventive care services that are free for people with Original Medicare, as long as you see in-network providers.

For those new to Medicare, Medicare covers a one-time Welcome to Medicare visit within the first 12 months you have Part B. You are also eligible for an Annual Wellness Visit to manage your health care. Medicare’s more specific preventive services that help detect potentially serious conditions include exams, shots (such as flu shots), lab tests, and screenings (such as HIV screenings). To help you take care of your own health, it also covers programs for health counseling (such as nutrition and smoking cessation counseling), and education (such as diabetes self-management training).

Some preventive care services are covered once every few years, while others may be covered more frequently if they are needed to diagnose an illness or condition. Speak to your provider about scheduling times to receive preventive services. It is important to know that Medicare covers preventive care services only if they are truly preventive in nature. If your doctor identifies a health issue during your preventive care visit and needs to provide care to address it, you may be responsible for certain costs, such as the Part B deductible and coinsurance. For general Medicare questions, call DRW at 1-800-928-8778. For Medicare Part D questions, call the Disability Drug Benefit Helpline at 1-800-926-4862. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), or visit www.medicare.gov to find out if Medicare covers your test, service, or item.