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5 Little known Medicare benefits that every retiree should use



Medicare helps cover hospital stays, doctor visits, and prescription drugs for adults over 65 years of age. However, some of the most lucrative benefits are least used. It offers a range of check-ups, consultations and other services, many of which are free to help you improve your health and improve your quality of life without straining your budget. Here are five of these benefits you should consider.

. 1 Annual Wellness Visits

Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for one free wellness visit per year. Your doctor will evaluate your weight, your blood pressure and your general health. They can also be screened for signs of Alzheimer's or dementia.

  Stethoscope with money

Source: Getty Images.

These exams can alert you to health problems before they become serious so you can fix them. Understanding your health risks and making some simple changes to your lifestyle can make all the difference between a healthy age and high medical costs for preventable diseases.

. 2 Obesity and smoking counseling

Smoking and obesity are the leading causes of heart disease and diabetes. Smoking can also lead to lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and many other diseases. These illnesses can cost you a fortune on medical treatments and prescription drugs ̵

1; and above all shorten your life.

Under Medicare, you can get professional advice on these disorders. But there are limitations. Adiposity counseling is free only for adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more. While Medicare pays for smoking cessation advice, it does not cover the cost of nicotine patches, lozenges or chewing gum to help you quit smoking.

. 3 Hospice Care

You may be eligible for free hospice care if you have six months or less to live. This can relieve the burden on your family's finances while making your last days enjoyable. However, Medicare sets limits on what types of hospice care facilities are eligible.

At this time, Medicare not only cares about your physical well-being, but also covers the bereavement counseling for you and your family members so that you can all come to terms with the impending loss.

. 4 Disease Screening

Medicare pays for disease screening if your doctor determines you are at risk for diabetes, heart disease, hepatitis B or C, HIV, or certain cancers. You will need to pay for some of the treatment out of pocket if it turns out you have any of these conditions, but you do not have to go to the doctor to check for costs. Your prognosis for many of these diseases is better if you discover them earlier. Take these free trials if you think you are exposed to any of these health problems.

Medicare also pays a hearing exam, if your doctor tells you it is medically necessary. But if it's something you choose yourself, you'll have to pay for the exam yourself.

. 5 Some Medical Devices

Medicare includes some durable medical devices, including wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, blood glucose meters, walking aids, and even hospital beds. Oddly enough, it overlooks one of the most commonly used permanent medical devices: hearing aids. Medicare does not cover these at all, so you'll have to pay them out of pocket or look for other types of coverage that can help you pay the costs.

Everyone likes to use the free services. Some of the Medicare services listed above can help you save money, live a longer and healthier life, and avoid future expensive medical bills. If you have not already done so, take the annual spa visit and ask your doctor for the other services listed here that may apply to you.


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