Your Weekly Medicare Consumer Advocacy Update
New York’s Plan to Integrate Care for Dual-Eligibles
|August 29, 2013||Volume 4, Issue 34|
Medicare covers blood tests every five years to test cholesterol, lipid and triglyceride levels.
Heart disease is also referred to as cardiovascular disease. Original Medicare will pay 100 percent of its approved amount for these tests, even before you have met the Part B deductible. You will not pay a copay or a deductible for these screenings if you see doctors or other health care providers who take assignment. Doctors who take assignment cannot charge you more than the Medicare approved amount. You do not need to show signs of heart disease or have any particular risk factors for Medicare to cover the full cost of these tests.
If you are in a Medicare Advantage plan (private health plan) you should contact your plan to find out what rules and costs apply. Medicare Advantage (MA) plans cover all preventive services the same as Original Medicare. This means MA plans will not be allowed to charge cost-sharing fees (coinsurances, copays or deductibles) for preventive services that Original Medicare does not charge for as long as you see in-network providers. If you see providers that are not in your plan’s network, charges will typically apply.
As part of its monthly infographic series, “Visualizing Health Policy,” The Kaiser Family Foundation recently released a look at long-term care services and supports for older Americans. The infographic includes information that projects the growth of the long-term care population in the next 37 years and the size of the senior population that will need long-term care due to cognitive and physical impairment. The infographic also shows the number of Americans who receive long-term care from an unpaid family member, a breakdown of total long-term care spending, and the transfer of Medicaid spending on long-term care to community-based care.