When you sign up for Medicare Part B, you have 12 months to get the free one-time preventive consultation known as the “Welcome to Medicare” visit. This sets the stage for your future treatments so that you can live a longer life at a lower cost.
What should I know before the visit?
The Welcome to Medicare visit is only free if you go to a healthcare provider who accepts Medicare assignment. Be sure to check before you schedule an appointment.
When you go, have the following information readily available:
- Your medical history
- Family medical history
- Immunization records
- Prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines
- Supplements you take
Why Part B?
Part B is a prerequisite because it covers preventive care. Preventive care includes x-rays, tests, screenings, and exams. Medicare pays for 80% of preventive services, which gives you 20% to cover.
You can get Part B during the Initial Enrollment and General Enrollment Periods. Initial Enrollment includes the month you turn 65 as well as the three months before and three months after it. If you miss your Initial Enrollment Period, then you can sign up during the General Enrollment Period from January 1 to March 31.
As of 2021, the annual Part B deductible is $203 and the monthly premiums are $148.50. But because this is a free visit, it doesn’t require you to pay the deductible beforehand. The deductible is for standard outpatient services.
What happens during the Welcome to Medicare visit?
The Welcome to Medicare visit involves questionnaires and basic screenings that can help you determine what future treatments you’ll need.
This visit is educational. You and your healthcare provider will discuss your past and present medical problems and assess your risks for various illnesses. You can get immunizations such as flu shots as part of this visit. You’ll get counseling based on lifestyle choices, and have a depression screening.
Your free consultation also includes basic measurements such as body mass index, height, weight, and blood pressure. This ties into lifestyle, while also giving your healthcare provider an idea for preventive treatments you may need referrals for.
How do I benefit from this?
The Welcome to Medicare visit expedites your treatment.
The alternative is going to a doctor’s office where you would need to meet a deductible beforehand. Coinsurance and copayments may apply. And in the alternate scenario, your doctor would devise a treatment strategy much like what you’d get in the Welcome to Medicare visit. The Welcome to Medicare visit eliminates that first step and lets you get straight to treatment.
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At Wise Up Health Insruance, we want you to seize every opportunity that can save you money and address your health problems as soon as possible. When you call us, we help you find the plan that’s best for you so that you can get a head start on living a longer, healthier life at the lowest cost. Call us today at 830-308-0123.