We know the growing importance of preventive care services as we age. Although slow to come around, Medicare has expanded its preventive care, including a Welcome to Medicarephysical exam within the first year of enrollment.
You can read about Medicare’s preventive care program in the official government booklet, Your Guide to Medicare’s Preventive Services.
This booklet covers topics such as:
- What disease prevention is and why it’s important .
- Which preventive services Medicare covers and how often .
- Who can get service.
- What you pay – you pay nothing for many services.
Preventing health issues, or identifying them at an early stage, can lead to a longer, healthier, and more fulfilling life.
A Closer Look
MyMedicare.gov: New and Improved.
The Medicare website is constantly improving as a resource for Medicare beneficiaries to access important information about Medicare benefits. For over 10 years, I have used the site to help clients with Medicare enrollment and Medicare Part D prescription drug analysis and enrollment. I’m impressed how user-friendly it is and how it is regularly updated to improve the visitor experience. I must admit, the government got this one right.
For access to personalized information, register for MyMedicare.gov.
Here are just some of the things you can do on the website:
- View Part A and B Claim Information.
- Order Duplicate Medicare Summary Notices (MSNs).
- Access quality information about your providers.
- View plan enrollment and quality information for your Prescription Drug, Medicare Advantage, and other insurance plans.
- Compare health and drug plans based on quality measures and estimated costs.
- Create and print an “On the Go” report with information you can share with your healthcare providers.
- View and manage your drug list and pharmacy information.
- View your current and upcoming preventive services calendar.
Take a tour without having to create an account:
MyMedicare.gov Virtual Tour
Of cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States (behind lung cancer) and the third most common cancer in men and in women (CDC).
The death rate (the number of deaths per 100,000 people per year) from colorectal cancer has been dropping in both men and women for more than 20 years (American Cancer Society). One main reason for this is colon screenings and the early detection of polyps that are removed before developing into cancer. Like all cancers, early detection is key to successful treatment.
Medicare preventive coverage includes a wide range of cancer screenings but there are guidelines. Learn more about which types of colorectal screenings are covered by Medicare, and how often, by visiting this website Medicare Colorectal Cancer Screening.
Colon Health: More on Colon Cancer prevention from the Mayo Clinic.
The Question Column
Q: Does Medicare pay for any services outside the U.S.?
If you have Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), you can travel anywhere in the U.S. and get the medical care you need from almost any doctor and hospital available. This includes its territories: Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Medicare will only cover a beneficiary outside of the U.S. and its territories in these circumstances:
- Emergency services in Canada if you are traveling a direct route, without unreasonable delay, between Alaska and another state and the closest hospital that can treat you is in Canada.
- For the medical care you receive on a cruise ship if you get the care while the ship is in U.S. territorial waters. This means the ship is in a U.S. port or within six hours of arrival at or departure from a U.S. port.
- For non-emergency in-patient services in a foreign hospital (and connected physician and ambulance costs) if it is closer to your residence than the nearest U.S. hospital that is available and equipped to treat your medical condition (i.e. on the border of Mexico or Canada).
Many of the Medicare Supplement insurance plans (also called Medigap), provide coverage for foreign travel. Medigap plans such as Plan F cover 80 percent of the cost of emergency care abroad during the first two months of a trip with a $250 deductible to a $50,000 lifetime maximum. Check with your plan to see what costs and rules apply when you travel outside of the United States.
OnlyHealthInsurance also recommends travel medical insurance when traveling abroad. It adds a layer of medical coverage that includes benefits not covered by Medicare or Medigap insurance, such as medical evacuation, repatriation, 24/7 multi-lingual assistance services and more. Pre-existing conditions are covered and premiums are inexpensive. If you travel abroad more than once a year there are policies that can cover you for all your travel in a twelve month period at even lower premiums.You can learn more about Travel Insuranceon our website or Contact Us for more information.