Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” His advice is still wise today, particularly for people age 65 or older and younger people with disabilities who have Medicare benefits. If you have Medicare Part B medical insurance, an easy and important way to stay healthy is to get early detection preventive medical screenings and services to help find health problems early when medical treatment works best.

Talk with your health care provider to find out what medical tests you need and how often you need them to stay healthy. If you have Medicare Part B, you will be able to get many preventive medical services at little or no cost to you.

Medicare Part B covers the following preventive services:

• “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit with your medical provider

• Alcohol misuse screening

• Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening ultrasound if you are at risk

• Bone mass measurement for certain people at risk of osteoporosis

• COVID-19 vaccines

• Depression screening

• Diabetes screening and prevention

• Flu shots

• Glaucoma screening

• Hepatitis B shots if you are at risk

• Hepatitis C screening if you are at risk

• HIV screening if you are at risk

• Lung cancer screening if you are at risk

• Mammogram screening

• Medical nutrition therapy services

• Obesity screening and counseling

• PAP test and pelvic exam

• Pneumonia shots

• Prostate cancer screenings

• Sexually transmitted infections screenings and counseling

• Yearly “Wellness Visit” screening with your medical provider

If you have Medicare Part B, you will pay nothing for many preventive services if you get them from medical providers that take Medicare assignment. For some preventive services you may have to pay Medicare’s deductibles, coinsurances and/or copayments depending on the type of preventive services you need and the kind of Medicare health plan you have.

When it comes to staying healthy, Medicare recommends that you follow Ben Franklin’s advice to prevent illnesses. If you have Medicare, talk to your health care provider about the preventive screenings you need and how Medicare Part B will cover them. You can also phone Medicare 24/7 at 1-800-Medicare or call the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1-800-452-4800 for more information about Medicare Part B coverage of preventive medical services, including your costs under original Medicare.

You can also register at to get online access to your preventive health information and track your preventive services, get a calendar of the Medicare-covered tests and screenings you are eligible for and print a report to take to your health care provider.

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you have Medicare Part B, help yourself stay healthy by talking to your medical provider about Medicare’s preventive services.

John Williams is a Medicare Specialist with State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).

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