When it comes to women’s health and Medicare, did you know you can receive preventive care at zero cost? This article, by Amy De Vore, will explain it all:
Even though 95% of early breast cancer diagnoses are curable*, women are not taking advantage of their $0 yearly Medicare mammogram.
Medicare and Mammograms
Medicare beneficiaries 40 and over are eligible to receive a $0 mammogram yearly. However, there has been a decline in women receiving this exam. It may be because women are unaware that the cost of this service is free or because women don’t realize that early diagnosis is extremely important in the fight against breast cancer. Medicare stresses that women should take advantage of their free care.
If there is an abnormality during your basic screening or a lump is found during a self-exam, a diagnostic mammogram will be ordered. Diagnostic breast exams are covered by Medicare Part B and cost the Medicare beneficiary 20%. About 5-15% of women who have a basic mammogram will require a diagnostic exam.
Other Medicare Preventive Care for Women
For most preventive care to be covered by Original Medicare you must be enrolled in Medicare Part B. The following $0 screenings and exams may be offered annually or need-based to women:
- Well Women Visit
- Cervical Cancer Screening
- Bone Mass Measurement
Medicare Preventive Care for Men and Women
Medicare offers a slew of $0 preventive services because early diagnosis and pre-disease (such as pre-Diabetes or heart disease) can help save lives and limit medical costs in the future. A few of these services are vaccinations, HIV screenings, colorectal cancer screenings, cardiovascular screenings, and depression screenings.
After Preventive Care is Received
If everything is deemed okay after your preventive visit to the doctor then you just wait until the following year to receive $0 preventive care again. However, if during your preventive screening there is an abnormality and further care is required Medicare will pay its share of the costs. Many boomers don’t realize that Medicare doesn’t put a cap on your out-of-pocket spending each year. If you’re worried about these costs your job-based insurance, a Medicare Advantage plan with an out of pocket limit of $6700, or a Medigap plan with first-dollar coverage may be something to consider.
Best Preventive Care
The best preventive care is to exercise daily, eat a well-balanced diet, not smoke, and visit your doctor regularly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends boomers 65 and over (who are medically able) minimally perform moderate aerobic exercise (brisk walking) 150 minutes per week plus strength building two times per week.
*According to the Mayo Clinic.