New to Medi­care? Sched­ule a wel­come visit

Record Observer - - Senior Satellite -

”Wel­come to Medi­care” pre­ven­tive visit: Dur­ing the first 12 months that you have Part B of Medi­care, you can get a “Wel­come to Medi­care” pre­ven­ta­tive visit. This visit in­cludes a re­view of your med­i­cal and so­cial his­tory re­lated to your health and ed­u­ca­tion and coun­sel­ing about pre­ven­tive ser­vices, in­clud­ing:

• Cer­tain screen­ings, shots, and re­fer­rals for other care, if needed

• Height, weight, and blood pres­sure mea­sure­ments

• A cal­cu­la­tion of your body mass in­dex • A sim­ple vi­sion test • A re­view of your po­ten­tial risk for de­pres­sion and your level of safety

• An of­fer to talk with you about creat­ing ad­vance di­rec­tives

• A writ­ten plan let­ting you know which screen­ings, shots, and other pre­ven­tive ser­vices you need.

When you make your ap­point­ment, let your doc­tor’s of­fice know that you’d like to sched­ule your “Wel­come to Medi­care” pre­ven­ta­tive visit. You pay noth­ing for the “Wel­come to Medi­care” pre­venta- tive visit if the doc­tor or other qual­i­fied health care provider ac­cepts as­sign­ment.

If your doc­tor or other health care provider per­forms ad­di­tional tests or ser­vices dur­ing the same visit that aren’t cov­ered un­der this pre­ven­ta­tive ben­e­fit, you may have to pay coin­sur­ance, and the Part B de­ductible may ap­ply.

This visit is cov­ered one time. You don’t need to have this visit to be cov­ered for yearly “Well­ness” vis­its.

Yearly “Well­ness” vis­its: If you’ve had Part B for longer than 12 months, you can get this visit to de­velop or update a per­son­al­ized preven­tion help plan. This plan is de­signed to help pre­vent disease and dis­abil­ity based on your cur­rent health and risk fac­tors. Your provider will ask you to fill out a ques­tion­naire, called a “Health Risk As­sess­ment,” as part of this visit. An­swer­ing th­ese ques­tions can help you and your provider de­velop a per­son­al­ized preven­tion plan to help you stay healthy and get the most out of your visit. It can also include:

• A re­view of your med­i­cal and fam­ily his­tory

• De­vel­op­ing or up­dat­ing a list of cur­rent providers and pre­scrip­tions

• Height, weight, blood pres­sure, and other rou­tine mea­sure­ments

• De­tec­tion of any cog­ni­tive im­pair­ment

• Per­son­al­ized health ad­vice

• A list of risk fac­tors and treat­ment op­tions for you

• A screen­ing sched­ule (like a check­list) for ap­pro­pri­ate pre­ven­tive ser­vices. • Ad­vance Care Plan­ning Medi­care Part B (Med­i­cal In­sur­ance) cov­ers vol­un­tary Ad­vance Care Plan­ning as part of the Yearly “Well­ness” visit. This is plan­ning for care you’d want to get if you be­come un­able to speak for your­self. You can talk about an ad­vance di­rec­tive with your health care pro­fes­sional, and he or she can help you fill out the forms, if you want to. (An ad­vance di­rec­tive is a writ­ten doc­u­ment stat­ing how you want med­i­cal de­ci­sions to be made if you lose the abil­ity to make them for your­self. It may include a liv­ing will and a durable power of at­tor­ney for health care).

Note: Medi­care may also cover this ser­vice as part of your med­i­cal treat­ment. When Ad­vance Care Plan­ning isn’t part of your Yearly “Well­ness” visit, the Part B de­ductible and coin­sur­ance may ap­ply.

When you make your ap­point­ment, make sure you let your doc­tor’s of­fice know that you’d like to sched­ule your yearly “Well­ness” visit.

Your first yearly “Well­ness” visit can’t take place within 12 months of your en­roll­ment in Part B or your “Wel­come to Medi­care” pre­ven­ta­tive visit. You pay noth­ing for the yearly “Well­ness” visit if the doc­tor or other qual­i­fied health care pro­fes­sional ac­cepts as­sign­ment. Who’s el­i­gi­ble? All peo­ple with Part B are cov­ered.

Your costs in Orig­i­nal Medi­care

You pay noth­ing for the “Wel­come to Medi­care” pre­ven­tive visit or the yearly “Well­ness” visit if your doc­tor or other qual­i­fied health care provider ac­cepts as­sign­ment. The Part B de­ductible doesn’t ap­ply.

How­ever, you may have to pay coin­sur­ance, and the Part B de­ductible may ap­ply if your doc­tor or other health care provider per­forms ad­di­tional tests or ser­vices dur­ing the same visit.

Your doc­tor or other health care provider may rec­om­mend you get ser­vices more of­ten than Medi­care cov­ers. Or, they may rec­om­mend ser­vices that Medi­care doesn’t cover. If this hap­pens, you may have to pay some or all the costs. It’s im­por­tant to ask ques­tions so you un­der­stand why your doc­tor is rec­om­mend­ing cer­tain ser­vices and whether Medi­care will pay for them.

Mike Zim­mer is pres­i­dent of Bay State In­sur­ance Agency Ltd. in Cen­tre­ville. He is avail­able to an­swer your ques­tions or speak to your groups re­gard­ing Medi­care, Medi­care Ad­van­tage, Medi­care Sup­ple­ments and Medi­care Part D (Pre­scrip­tion Plans) He may be reached at 410-758-1680.

MIKE ZIM­MER

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