Whether you have just signed up or you have been a beneficiary for years, you may not be aware of all the benefits you are entitled to through Medicare. There are many different parts of Medicare, but “Original Medicare” is the traditional fee-for-service program managed by the federal government. Original Medicare is composed of Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.

In a nutshell, Part B covers medical services that are meant to prevent health crises and the need for higher levels of care that Part A covers. Understanding your health insurance benefits—and those of your loved one—is crucial for ensuring that you both make the most of your coverage and do everything possible to keep yourselves healthy.

Below is a list of preventative services, tests and treatments that Part B covers. Note that some tests are one-time only while others are covered on an annual or as-needed basis. Some of these services may also require a referral and/or require beneficiaries to have certain risk factors to qualify for coverage.

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Preventive Services Covered by Medicare Part B

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening
  • Alcohol misuse screenings and counseling
  • Bone mass (bone density) measurements
  • Cardiovascular disease screenings
  • Behavioral therapy for preventing and managing cardiovascular disease
  • Cervical and vaginal cancer screenings
  • Colorectal cancer screenings
  • Depression screenings
  • Diabetes screenings
  • Diabetes self-management training
  • Glaucoma tests
  • Hepatitis C screening
  • HIV screening
  • Lung cancer screening
  • Mammograms (breast cancer screening)
  • Nutrition therapy services
  • Obesity screenings and counseling
  • One-time “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit
  • Prostate cancer screenings
  • Sexually transmitted infections screening and counseling
  • Shots:
    • Influenza (Flu) shots
    • Hepatitis B shots
    • Pneumococcal (Pneumonia) shots
  • Tobacco use cessation counseling
  • Yearly "wellness" exams

Medicare offers these services for little or no charge because they are designed to nip potential health problems in the bud. It’s important to take advantage of these benefits as recommended by a primary care physician but remember that some medical procedures become less necessary with age and can affect a senior’s overall quality of life. Never hesitate to ask your doctor (or your loved one’s doctor) about the risks, benefits and costs of all tests and treatments.

For more information on services covered by Medicare Part B, visit Medicare.gov.