New in 2011: $0 Copay Tests and Screenings

by Pamela Turner on January 23, 2011

This is some great news you can start taking advantage of!

Whether you have Original Medicare Only (Parts A & B), Original Medicare plus a supplement, or a Medicare Advantage HMO or PPO, many preventive tests and screenings are now free, thanks to Healthcare Reform.

Original Medicare still includes the complementary “Welcome to Medicare” physical exam. But now you have the added benefit of a yearly “Wellness” exam, and all the major tests and screenings recommended by doctors for preventive care.

You may have to pay coinsurance for your office visit, but there is no required deductible or copay for the tests.

Some of the included tests and screenings are for cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, diabetes, HIV, glaucoma, and prostate cancer. This would include colonoscopies, and annual mammograms.

Here is a more extensive listing of the $0 copay preventive screenings:

  • Cardiovascular Screening (Tests for cholesterol, lipid, and triglyceride levels) covered once every 5 years.
  • Breast Cancer Screening (Mammograms) Once every 12 months.
  • Cervical and Vaginal Cancer Screening (Pap tests and pelvic exams, including clinical breast exam) to check for cervical and vaginal cancers
  • Colorectal Cancer Screening: Fecal Occult Blood Test—Once every 12 months, Flexible Sigmoidoscopy—Once every 48 months, Screening Colonoscopy—Once every 120 months (high risk every 24 months), Barium Enema—Once every 48 months (high risk every 24 months) when used instead of sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy.
  • Prostate Cancer Screening
  • Digital Rectal Examination—Once every 12 months
  • PSA Test—Once every 12 months
  • Shots (Flu, Pneumococcal, Hepatitis B) When needed, except flu shot once per flu season
  • Bone Mass Measurements Once every 24 months
  • Diabetes Screening up to two screenings per year
  • Glaucoma Tests Once every 12 months
  • Tobacco Use Cessation (Counseling to quit using tobacco) Up to 8 face-to-face visits if you haven’t been diagnosed with an illness caused by tobacco
  • HIV Screening Once every 12 months.

Talk to your doctor about what preventive services might be right for you.

For more details, check out this handbook: “Your Guide to Medicare’s Preventive Services

Here is an excerpt from the booklet regarding a special new tool to personally track all the preventive services available to you, too keep you on top of it all:

“Visit to get direct access to your preventive health information—24 hours a day, every day. You can track your preventive services, get a two-year calendar of the Medicare-covered tests and screenings you’re eligible for, and print a personalized “on the go” report to take to your next doctor’s appointment. Visit the Web site, sign up, and Medicare will send you a password to allow you access to your personal Medicare information.” – from Your Guide to Medicare’s Preventive Services

Your Guide to Medicare’s Preventive Services

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