Will additional preventive services be covered by the changes to Medicare?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Yes!! The newest addition is a free, yearly “wellness” physical exam that you get in addition to your one-time “Welcome to Medicare” exam.


This wellness physical involves conversations and tips about diet, physical activity, and stress management to hopefully create a personal prevention plan. Rules for this annual wellness planning have not yet been fully written, but they are in the works, which is very exciting.


In addition (and this is more exciting than seeing your favorite celebrity in flesh and blood!), starting in January 2011, all of the preventive services and screenings that receive an A or B recommendation for seniors from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are FREE! This means you will no longer have to pay for mammograms, colorectal-cancer screenings, bone-mass measurements, counseling sessions for people at risk for diet-related chronic diseases like diabetes, and more.


Yes. The new law adds an annual personalized health assessment and prevention plan to the list of covered preventive services in Medicare. You will be able to see your provider for this assessment every year, with no cost sharing. Also, under the new law, the secretary of Health and Human Services has the authority to review and modify coverage for preventive services. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.