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MEDICARE INSIGHTS

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Medicare Insights — ‘Welcome to Medicare’ preventive visit

‘Welcome to Medicare’ preventive visit. If you’re a Medicare recipient, you probably already realize it’s a tall order to know all the benefits it provides. From the “Medicare & You 2019” booklet, here’s just a glimpse of a few of the Part B services it covers.

As a new Medicare recipient, you can get a “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit during the first 12 months that you have Part B. This includes a review of your medical and social history related to your health. It also includes education and counseling about preventive services, along with certain screenings, flu and pneumococcal shots, and referrals for other care, if needed. When you make your appointment, let your doctor’s office know you’d like to schedule your “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit.

Source:
“Medicare & You 2019,” Department of Health & Human Services, USA, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

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Medicare Insights — Yearly ‘Wellness’ visit and advance care planning

Yearly ‘Wellness’ visit and advance care planning. If you’ve had Part B for longer than 12 months, you can get a yearly “Wellness” visit to develop or update a personalized plan to prevent disease or disability based on your current health and risk factors. This visit is covered once every 12 months. When you make your appointment, let your doctor’s office know you’d like to schedule your yearly “Wellness” visit.

Medicare covers voluntary advance care planning as part of the yearly “Wellness” visit. This is planning for care you would want to get if you become unable to speak for yourself. You can talk about an advance directive with your health care professional, and he or she can help you fill out the forms, if you like. An advance directive is an important legal document that records your wishes about medical treatment at a future time, if you’re not able to make decisions about your care.

Source:
“Medicare & You 2019,” Department of Health & Human Services, USA, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

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Medicare Insights — Diabetes prevention program (new) and diabetes self-management training

Diabetes prevention program (new) and diabetes self-management training. Type 2 diabetes can sometimes be delayed or prevented with health behavior changes, such as losing even a small amount of weight if you’re overweight and getting regular exercise. If you have Medicare Part B, have prediabetes, and meet other criteria, Medicare’s new diabetes prevention program covers a proven health behavior change program to help you prevent diabetes. The program begins with at least 16 core sessions offered in a group setting over a 6-month period. After the core sessions, you may be eligible for additional monthly sessions to help you maintain healthy habits.

Medicare covers diabetes outpatient self-management training to teach you to cope with and manage your diabetes. The program may include tips for eating healthy, being active, monitoring blood sugar, taking medication, and reducing risks. You pay 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount, and the Part B deductible applies.

Source:
“Medicare & You 2019,” Department of Health & Human Services, USA, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

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Medicare Insights — Therapeutic shoes and inserts for people with diabetes, and bone mass measurement

Therapeutic shoes and inserts for people with diabetes, and bone mass measurement. If you have diabetes and severe diabetic foot disease, Medicare covers the furnishing and fitting of one pair of custom-molded shoes and inserts or one pair of extra-depth shoes and inserts each calendar year. Medicare will only cover therapeutic shoes if your doctor and supplier are enrolled in Medicare — and if the supplier participates in Medicare. You may have to pay 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount, and the Part B deductible applies. For more information about this benefit, visit medicare.gov/coverage/therapeutic-shoes-inserts.

The bone mass measurement (bone density) test helps determine if you’re at risk for broken bones. It’s covered once every 24 months (more often if medically necessary) for people who have certain medical conditions or meet certain criteria.

Source:
“Medicare & You 2019,” Department of Health & Human Services, USA, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
“Therapeutic shoes & inserts,” medicare.gov, accessed March 11, 2019

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Medicare Insights — Smoking and tobacco-use cessation (counseling)

Smoking and tobacco-use cessation (counseling to stop smoking or using tobacco products). Medicare covers up to eight face-to-face visits in a 12-month period. All people with Medicare who use tobacco are covered.

There’s a lot to know about Medicare, but taking time to thumb through your copy of “Medicare & You 2019” (also available online) or perusing medicare.gov can help you understand more about the benefits available to you.

Source:
“Medicare & You 2019,” Department of Health & Human Services, USA, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

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