Medicare Prevention Screenings
Health screenings are preventive maintenance that keep you feeling your best by improving your
health and quality of life.
There are a number of health screenings you should receive on a regular basis to help prevent
diseases and detect illnesses early for easier treatment and a better prognosis. Medicare covers
many of these preventive screenings.
Which preventive screenings you are eligible for and how often you receive them depends on
your age, gender and personal risk factors. Your doctor will recommend an appropriate screening
All Medicare plan beneficiaries are eligible for a free annual wellness visit. This physical exam
is important because it gives you the opportunity to discuss your current medical conditions,
medications, screenings and personal family health history with your doctor. During these visits,
you and your doctor can create a personalized wellness plan. The annual wellness visit
complements the Welcome to Medicare Exam, available at no cost within the first 12 months of
Medicare plans also cover a number of free preventive benefits. They include:
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening
An abdominal ultrasound is covered for people at high risk who have been referred by their
primary care doctor during their Welcome to Medicare preventative visit.
Medicare covers testing for cholesterol, lipid and triglyceride levels in your blood every five
years to discover new or developing cardiovascular problems. If a Medicare recipient is already
diagnosed with a cardiovascular disease, then annual screenings are covered.
Colorectal Cancer Screenings
Several different screening tests are available, including a fecal occult blood test, a flexible
sigmoidoscopy, a screening colonoscopy and a barium enema. All Medicare beneficiaries are
eligible for a colonoscopy screening. Other screenings may be covered for men 50 or older or at
high risk. Your doctor will help determine which tests are best for you.
Medicare covers an annual depression screening from your primary care physician.
Medicare covers diabetes screening when you have risk factors such as high blood sugar, high
blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels, or obesity. You may qualify for up
to two screenings per year based on your initial screening.
People at high risk for developing glaucoma are covered for one screening per year.
HIV screening for people with Medicare with a high risk for infection or pregnant are covered.
Medicare covers an annual breast cancer screening for women age 40 and older. A baseline
mammogram is covered for women ages 35-39.
This is a bone mass measurement to determine your risk for broken bones. People at high risk are
covered for a bone density screening once every two years, or more if necessary.
Pap Test and Pelvic Exam
Medicare covers these screenings every two years for eligible women. Women at high risk and
women of childbearing age with an abnormal screening in the past three years also are covered
for annual screenings.
Prostate Cancer Screenings
Annual digital rectal exams and PSA blood tests are covered by Medicare for men with Medicare
over 50 years of age.
Medicare plans also cover immunizations such as the flu vaccination, pneumococcal and
hepatitis B shots. Free counseling to stop smoking and nutritional therapy for those with diabetes
and kidney disease are also available. Obesity screening and counseling may be available for
those with a body mass index of 30 or more.
These preventative health screenings can help you avoid serious illnesses and diseases, or help
you detect them early. For more information about Medicare’s preventive services, visit
www.medicare.gov. Follow the Medicare guidelines to ensure that your screenings are covered.
The most effective way to stay healthy is to prevent illness before it occurs.