April is Cancer Control Month: Take Advantage of Medicare's Cancer Screenings, USA
In the past few years, Medicare has begun to cover many more preventive care services. Medicare covers 80 to 100 percent of the cost for mammograms, pap tests, pelvic exams, colon cancer screenings, and prostate screenings. Medicare will cover the Medicare-approved amount even before individuals pay the annual Part B deductible.
?Medicare covers essential preventive benefits that can detect risks before it becomes too late, but unfortunately, many older and disabled Americans are not taking advantage of these Medicare benefits? said Diane Archer, founder and special counsel for the Medicare Rights Center (MRC), a national consumer service organization. ?We encourage patients to speak with their doctors about Medicare-covered screenings.?
Medicare's other new preventive benefits include a ?Welcome to Medicare Physical Examination? in the first six months after a person enrolls in Medicare Part B, typically at age 65. The physical will include measurement of height, weight and blood pressure, an electrocardiogram, education and counseling.
Older adults and people with disabilities should take advantage of preventive care screenings, especially if they are at high risk for certain health conditions. They should keep in mind:
1 The amount you pay varies by screening. To keep costs down you should see doctors who accept Medicare assignment (they charge no more than the Medicare-approved amount for their services). For a list of doctors who accept Medicare assignment, call the Medicare program at 800-MEDICARE or visit their Physician Directory at http://www.medicare.gov
2 Medicare HMOs and PPOs may charge a copay for these preventive care services.
3 For preventive care coverage details, visit http://www.medicarerights.org/preventivecareframeset.html or send your name, address and $3 to:
Medicare Rights Center
New York, NY 10036
The Medicare Rights Center, founded in 1989, is the largest independent source of information and assistance on health care rights and benefits for older and disabled men and women in the United States. For more information about MRC, call 212-204-6219, or visit the MRC web site: http://www.medicarerights.org.
Contact: Deane Beebe
Medicare Rights Center
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