May 2017 Fraud Prevention Fact
As May arrives, you may be ready to spring into wellness. As you do, the Missouri SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) wants you to know that Medicare has you covered for many preventive benefits.
Medicare’s preventive benefits are intended to keep you healthy or to find potential illnesses soon after they develop. When health conditions are found early, they are easier and less expensive to treat.
When you consider your preventive benefits, remember that your personal primary health care physician should guide your decisions about which tests and screenings you need, and how often. Medicare covers many screenings annually or every two years, but sometimes the coverage depends on your personal health history. Most all of these tests are covered without you having to pay coinsurance or meet a deductible. That means that you should incur no out-of-pocket costs most of the time. Again, check with your personal primary care physician.
Medicare may cover screenings for heart diseases, several types of cancer, depression, diabetes, hepatitis, HIV and osteoporosis – among others. If you need counseling to stop using tobacco or alcohol, Medicare may cover that service. Even flu and pneumonia vaccines are covered. A comprehensive list is available online at medicare.gov.
If you have any doubts about whether you will have an out-of-pocket cost, ask your doctor. Again, the source for these services should be your trusted physician or someone he refers you to – NOT someone who approaches you out of the blue and offers free services. As always, report suspected Medicare fraud to the Missouri SMP at (888) 515-6565.
SMPs are funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, Administration on Aging.