10 Medicare Freebies You Need to Know About
Most people are aware of the primary benefits of Medicare: increased access to quality healthcare for vulnerable populations. However, there are many other benefits that fewer people know about, and they’re even free (included at no extra cost with normal premiums). Here are the top 10 Original Medicare freebies beneficiaries should know about:
A “Welcome to Medicare” Visit
A new enrollee, you’re entitled to a welcome visit with your doctor. This is a preventative visit. And, there are no out-of-pocket costs. Some doctors use this visit to give referrals to specialists for people who need them. Also, these tell patients about important preventative care covered by Medicare. The welcome visit has to be completed during the first year of enrollment.
Annual Wellness Visits
These are free annual wellness visits that are also preventative. Annual wellness visits with a primary care provider create a care plan to prevent illness and injury. Beneficiaries are responsible for follow up treatment.
Bone Density Tests
These tests are free to Medicare beneficiaries once every two years. They are a way to determine the risk of broken bones. To qualify for these tests, beneficiaries need to meet the following criteria: be a woman at risk of osteoporosis, take prednisone, and/or have x-rays that indicate increased risk of osteoporosis.
Cardiovascular Behavior Therapy
These visits are with primary care providers and they often determine blood pressure and risk factors for ailments like heart disease.
There are free tobacco and alcohol use counseling sessions for those who qualify.
Diabetes Management Training
Free self-management training for diabetes is available through Medicare. The initial training is up to ten hours and covers topics like nutrition, blood sugar monitoring, and medication administration.
Immunizations and Vaccines
Flu shots and COVID boosters are free every year. And, some people may also qualify for two pneumococcal vaccines and a Hepatitis B vaccine.
Beneficiaries with a kidney transplant, diabetes, and/or kidney disease are eligible for up to 36 months of free nutrition therapy. There are group programs, lifestyle assessments, and follow up appointments as necessary.
Medicare covers several different free cancer screenings . Coverage includes mental health screenings. Additional free screenings include obesity, HIV, STIs, and Hepatitis C.
The Medicare “What’s Covered” App
The Medicare “What’s Covered” app launched in 2019. This app helps beneficiaries find out which services, goods, and treatments Medicare will cover. This is available for free on tablets or smartphones.
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