People who are newly eligible to Medicare may need to catch up on missed care. Thankfully, Medicare provides many preventative services, often with no out-of-pocket costs. Help your clients make the most of their Medicare plans by making sure they know their benefits.
Many People May Be Delaying Care
New research suggests that many people delay care until they turn 65 and age into Medicare. By looking at a national database, researchers discovered a large spike in cancer diagnoses at age 65. Colon cancer rates, for example, increased by 1% to 2% for people between the ages of 61 and 64, but at age 65, colon cancer rates jumped almost 16%.
Early detection of cancer and other health conditions can often improve prognosis. However, due to the cost of medical care, some people may delay the medical tests needed to detect health issues. As a result, care may be delayed.
Help Your New Clients Make the Most of Their Benefits
Some of your new Medicare clients may have been avoiding important care, possibly for financial reasons. Help them take advantage of their new Medicare benefits and get the care they need.
Whether your clients are enrolled in Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B) or Medicare Advantage, certain benefits are provided. These include many preventative and screening services that can help your clients stay healthy. Some of these benefits may be available with no out-of-pocket costs, meaning your clients pay nothing. (Depending on the plan, out-of-network charges may apply in some cases. Your clients should check their coverage regarding specific services and in-network providers if they are worried about costs.)
Here are a few of the many preventative benefits your clients should take advantage of:
- “Welcome to Medicare” visit – This initial preventative visit should take place during the first twelve months of coverage. It includes screenings, measurements, a vison test, and other important services. The patient should get a written plan that outlines what preventative services are needed.
- Annual wellness visit – Enrollees should get the “Welcome to Medicare” visit in the first year of coverage. In subsequent years, they should have a yearly wellness visit.
- Vaccinations – Various vaccinations, including COVID-19 and flu, are covered.
- Screenings – Covered screenings include diabetes screenings, depression screening, various cancer screenings and more.
- Obesity screening and counseling and nutrition therapy.
The above list is not a complete list of covered preventative services, and your clients may need additional services as well. Medicare provides a list of covered preventative and screening services here, and this video explains how Medicare enrollees can take advantage of Medicare’s preventative benefits, often with no out-of-pocket costs. Share these resources with your clients and encourage them to talk to their doctor and take advantage of their Medicare benefits.