Preventive health care is important at any age, but never more so than as we get older. Many of the major cancers that can be screened for - such as breast and colorectal cancer - are typically diagnosed at about age 70. After age 55, people have a 90 percent chance of developing high blood pressure, putting them at higher risk for heart disease and stroke. "The payoff in terms of prevention in geriatrics is more upfront and more immediate," says geriatrician Peter Hollmann, chairman of the public policy committee for the American Geriatrics Society. Starting in January, the new health-care law will make it easier and cheaper for seniors to get preventive care. Medicare beneficiaries will be able to receive for free all preventive services and screenings that receive an A or B recommendation for seniors from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. That includes mammograms and colorectal cancer screening, bone mass measurement and nutritional counseling for people at risk for diet-related chronic diseases such as diabetes. Medicare beneficiaries will also get a free annual wellness visit under the new law. The visit will cover a number of services, including a health risk assessment and a review of the person's functional and cognitive abilities.
Source: Kaiser Health News (August 10, 2010)
Full story: http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Features/Insuring-Your-Health/health-law-expands-medicare-preventive-care-coverage.aspx