Medicare pays for clinic and hospital care when you’re sick. Did you know that Medicare also covers “preventive” services? This includes a full range of early detection screening tests.

Upon first being covered, Medicare Part B (for clinic services) offers a one-time preventive visit at your primary healthcare clinic to assess your general well-being and to screen for chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. This checkup needs to be done within the first months of Medicare coverage.

If you have been covered by Medicare longer than one year, you are eligible for a yearly checkup, meant to keep track of your health, and prevent chronic disease from gaining a foothold on your wellness. The yearly wellness visit can include any of the following and more: bone density test, diabetes screening, depression assessment, screenings for cancers including colonoscopy, mammogram and Pap test, flu and Hepatitis B shots, help stopping smoking, glaucoma test and more.

Yearly checkups work best if your records are gathered in the same place. If you don’t have a primary physician to oversee your health, you may contact Dallas County Public Health for help in finding a “medical home.” Call 515-993-3750.