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Preventive Services for Medicare Beneficiaries

Preventive Services for Medicare Beneficiaries

Preventive services include screening and counseling for obesity, alcohol abuse, and depression.

In 2012, Medicare added three new types of preventive services to help not only older enrollees, but also people in all age groups. Here are the explanations of the services from the Medicare & You handbook :

Alcohol Misuse Counseling

Medicare covers one alcohol misuse screening per year for adults with Medicare (including pregnant women). The alcohol misuse Medicare service is available to those who misuse alcohol, participants must not be alcohol dependent and must be competent and alert during counseling. People who screen positive can get up to four brief face-to-face counseling sessions per year. A qualified primary care doctor or other primary care provider must provide the counseling in a primary care setting. You pay nothing if the doctor or other health care provider accepts assignment.

Depression Screening

Medicare covers one depression screening per year for all people with Medicare. The screening must be done in a primary care setting that can provide follow-up treatment and referrals.

Obesity Screening and Counseling

If you have a body mass index of 30 or more, Medicare covers intensive counseling to help you lose weight. This counseling may be covered if you get it in a primary care setting, where it can be coordinated with your personalized prevention plan. Talk to your primary care physician or practitioner to find out more.

Preventive Services and Medicare Advantage Plans

If you choose to get your benefits through a Medicare Advantage Plan (Medicare Part C), you are also entitled to the preventive services listed above.

Because private companies offer Medicare Advantage Plans, each company may have different rules or steps you need to take in order to receive preventive services. You can refer to your plan provider about these rules. You can also ask your primary care physician or your regular doctor about screening and counseling.


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Anthem Blue Cross is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Anthem Blue Cross depends on contract renewal. Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Independent licensee of the Blue Cross Association.

Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company is an LPPO plan and PDP plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company depends on contract renewal. Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Association.

Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company (Anthem) has contracted with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to offer the Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) noted above or herein Anthem is the state-licensed, risk-bearing entity offering these plans. Anthem has retained the services of its related companies and authorized agents/brokers/producers to provide administrative services and/or to make the PDPs available in this region.

Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Association. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross name and symbol are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association.

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