Starting in November 2011, Medicare will cover one visit per year with your primary care physician or other primary care doctor to help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease.
During this visit, your doctor should:
- Encourage aspirin use for all men ages 45-79 and for all women ages 55-79 if the health benefits outweigh the risks
- Screen for high blood pressure for all adults age 18 years and older
- Provide behavioral counseling and tips to encourage a healthy diet for people with Medicare.
For Medicare to cover this annual screening, you must be considered competent and alert at the time that counseling is provided.
Most people with Medicare should receive all three components of the screening. However, men under 45 years old and women under 55 years are not encouraged to use aspirin as a tool to reduce cardiovascular disease.
If you have Original Medicare, you will have no coinsurance or deductible for your yearly cardiovascular preventive visit if you see a doctor or other health care provider who accepts assignment. Doctors who accept assignment cannot charge you more than the Medicare approved amount. Starting in 2012, your Medicare Advantage plan cannot charge you copays, coinsurances or deductibles for the cardiovascular preventive visit as long as you see in-network health care providers. If you see doctors that are not in your plan’s network, charges will typically apply.