These free check-ups can be the best insurance available against major medical problems and major financial debt.
Fort Collins, CO (PRWEB) April 25, 2013
Medigap Advisors urges Medicare beneficiaries to use the “Welcome to Medicare” free preventive doctor visit that is available to first-year Medicare beneficiaries, and the free annual “Wellness” visit that covers many preventive services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task force, in order to reduce their risk of major medical problems and larger medical expenses.
Beneficiaries face out-of-pocket costs with Medicare coverage every year. Those with health problems have the largest burden, yet research shows some of the most costly problems are preventable.
Wiley Long, president of MediGap Advisors, urges clients recognize the value of prevention. According to the World Health Organization, at least 80 percent of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke are preventable. Drawing on his master’s degree in nutrition, Long says, “Having a doctor check for early signs of disease that rob people of their golden years is easy. It requires checking blood pressure and blood sugar, body fat, cholesterol, nutrition and other aspects of health.”
After years of seeing beneficiaries have trouble supplementing Medicare after their health deteriorates, Long advises, “These free check-ups can be the best insurance available against major medical problems and major financial debt. For example, a patient who has had a heart attack can expect to spend about $10,000 a year for medical needs that are not covered by Medicare.”
During the first year a beneficiary has Medicare Part B coverage for doctor appointments, a “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit is fully covered with any doctor who accepts Medicare’s payment rate. That one-time screening includes a more than subsequent annual appointments.
For example, the first year of Part B coverage is the only time Medicare will provide a screening EKG if recommended by a health care provider. Medicare also provides a one-time screening abdominal aortic aneurysm ultrasound for people at risk only during the initial year of coverage.
Following 12 months of Part B coverage, a beneficiary is entitled to a “Wellness” visit each year. That covers many preventive services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
Sixteen national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine volunteer to serve on the task force. Most are practicing clinicians and they bring a diversity of knowledge of preventive medicine and primary care. Their specialties include behavioral health, family medicine, internal medicine, and nursing. Using their recommendations, Medicare covers screening procedures and vaccinations that have proven to help reduce risk of chronic and life-threatening disease.
Medigap Advisors urges beneficiaries use these free services to safeguard their health and reduce Medicare’s out-of-pocket costs. This also gives beneficiaries more access to Medicare supplements like Medigap plans. After six months of Part B coverage, Medicare beneficiaries may have trouble getting a Medigap plan if they have significant health problems. By representing several leading insurance companies, MediGap Advisors can help clients find companies with more lenient policies of covering certain health problems. Consultations are available at no charge by calling 1-866-323-1441 or visit MedigapAdvisors.com for more information.