Your Medicare Advisor

Did You Know Medicare Provides Free Preventive Services?

By – Susan Beckman

That’s right! Once you turn 65 and sign up for Medicare, you are entitled to a variety of preventive tests and services.  In some cases, you might have to pay a copay for the doctor visit, but won’t have to pay for the test itself. Check ahead of time to be sure your doctor will accept the Medicare payment for the test that’s being done. Here are some of the free preventive services Medicare beneficiaries are eligible to take advantage of.

  • “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit (one time) – A one-time review of your health, education and counseling about preventive services, and referrals for other care if needed. Be sure to get it within 12 months of signing up for Medicare Part B.
  • Yearly “wellness” exam – If you’ve had Part B for longer than 12 months, you can get a yearly wellness visit to develop or update a personalized prevention plan based on your current health and risk factors.
  • Bone mass measurement or bone density test, every two years.
  • Cardiovascular disease screening
  • Colorectal Cancer screening:

Colonoscopy This colorectal cancer screening is covered for free once every 120 months (or 24 months for high risk patients).

Screening Fecal Occult Blood test – This test is covered once every 12 months if you are 50 or older.

Screening Flexible Sigmoidoscopy- Generally covered once every 48 months if you are 50 and older, or 120 months after a previous colonoscopy for those not at high risk.

  • Depression screening – Medicare provides free depression screenings that are conducted in a doctor’s office or other primary care setting.
  • Diabetes screening
  • Flu shots
  • Breast Cancer Screening (Mammogram) – Once every 12 months for all women 40 and older.
  • Cervical and Vaginal Cancer Screening- One every two years, or more often if at high risk.
  • Pneumococcal shot
  • Prostate cancer screening – Medicare covers the blood test that detects the amount of prostate specific antigen in the blood once every 12 months with no out-of-pocket cost. However, you will likely have to pay 20 percent of the cost of a digital rectal exam.
  • Hepatitis B shots – Covered for people at medium or high risk for hepatitis B.
  • Hepatitis C Screening – Covered for people meeting certain conditions.
  • HIV Screening – One every 12 months for people ages 15-65 or are considered high risk.
  • Obesity Screening and Counseling – Covered for Medicare recipients with a BMI greater than 30.
  • Smoking and Tobacco-use Cessation – Up to 8 visits in a 12 month period.


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murf appling

please, please stop this outrageous statement that Medicare offers “free” benefits – it is not “free” – our children & grand children are paying the costs for this medical care – Medicare was never ever intended to pay for the above listed medical aids – why do U think it is going “belly up” in 10-15 years – because the citizenry is “forced to join” a bankrupt plan instead of having the option to find our own personal policies. if Medicare was such a great idea, why wasn’t it “voluntary”? Or take the Medicare tax & invest it in American Free Enterprise & let it grow on its own!! if taxpayer funded medical plans were such a great concept – Mr. Madison, Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Monroe, Mr. Franklin, Mr. Washington, Mr. Rush (Dr. Benjamin) & their cohorts would have put it in the “Original Document”. All the above listed “free… Read more »

S. H. Dixon

FYI, Maria Rose…There are several different plans one can get to supplement one’s Medicare policy. There are HMO’s which always require a referal from one doctor to another. There are PPO’s which are Preferred Providers, which also require referals, but which allow you to choose from their larger network of providers, usually more than HMO’s. Many doctors do not belong to HMO’s because their is less. There are Advantage Plans which are all inclusive (must read their descriptions on exactly what they include), but they do include your medications, and some include vision and dental, but not all. They also require referrals. All of these types of policies require co-pays and deductibles. Then there are the Medi-Gap policies, which I personally think are the best and also the most expensive. Not everyone can afford this type of policy, but if you have a lot of doctor visits and hospital stays,… Read more »


Does Medicare pay for shingles vaccine?

maria rose

Some of these covered items have qualifiers even if you need to be screened for these tests. You do get to see your assigned doctor for that “annual ” wellness visit but it only last about 10 minutes with a quick exam and blood testing.You need to ask for some of these to be done as they won’t look unless asked (cholesterol test that breaks it into good HDL versus Bad HDL). Be extremely careful when suggested medication, most doctors get kickbacks to prescribe medications and if you really need that medication check to see if covered by drug plan and how much is out of pocket cost. All specialist visits have to be approved and where you go for scheduled speciality exams–you can only go to approved locations by your plan not always the one the doctor refers you to. Let me backtrack a bit, you get enrolled on… Read more »

Holly iyet

I enjoy hearing from what Medicare covers

Tom Stanley

I’ve got Medicare A&B and never had any of those tests, didn’t know Medicare covered them. Does it ever cover service dogs?

Robert D Ireland

I am wondering about the annual review by CT of aortic aneurism. The diagnostic scan was done several years ago. The annual scans since then are to schedule a time when a stint is required. These in my view are not diagnostic but purely a recheck for Dr. compliance for the stint insertion. What are Medicare’s views on this?