Men & Medicare: 3 Health Screenings Every Man Should Have

As you get older, your health can change, and you might find yourself dealing with new medical issues. Fortunately, if you’re 65 or older,  Medicare will take care of you. But Medicare isn’t only there to help you manage your conditions, you can – and should – also use it to get the screenings you need to keep on top of your health!

And right now, we’re talking to all the men out there: there are various health screenings suggested for men 65 and older that many men often put off, or don’t take seriously enough. But whether you’re avoiding getting a screening because you don’t think you need it, or because you think it will cost too much, you could end up missing the early warning signs of a disease that could be life-threatening. Medicare will cover the following three health screenings that every man should have, so talk to your doctor today!

1. Prostate Cancer

blue ribbon
About 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their life.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer for men in the United States, after skin cancer. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their life. Many men will not experience any symptoms when prostate cancer is in its early stages, so it’s important to get an annual exam to check for early warning signs, and catch any abnormalities as soon as possible. 

For this reason, Medicare will begin paying for this screening starting at age 50.  Medicare will cover both a digital rectal exam and a prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, test once a year.

2. Colorectal Cancer

Over the past couple of decades, colorectal cancer rates have been increasing. In fact, the Colorectal Cancer Alliance believes that the risk of men developing colorectal cancer in their lifetime is now 1 in 23. A lot of men put off having a screening for this type of cancer because they worry about invasiveness, or they might not realize that they are already in a risky age group, but delaying could mean missing a diagnosis. This is especially true since most men do not experience symptoms until the cancer has spread.

If you’re worried about the test for colorectal cancer, know that you have options: Medicare will cover various preventative screenings, including a physical occult blood test, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and colonoscopy.

3. Diabetes

diabetes machine with sugar next to it
Medicare Part B will cover glucose lab tests if you have risk factors for diabetes.

Diabetes can lead to other serious medical conditions such as heart disease and stroke. In fact, did you know that nearly 70% of people with diabetes who are 65 or older die of some form of heart disease? 

Medicare Part B will cover glucose lab tests if you have risk factors for diabetes including high blood pressure, obesity, high blood sugar, and a history of high cholesterol levels. Medicare will also cover a diabetes screening if you are overweight or have a family history of diabetes. 

Extra Coverage

Taking care of yourself is important, and Medicare makes it easy to get the screenings you need. So don’t put off getting screened for the above conditions, because doing so could help you live a little longer. 

And if you need more help paying for screenings and other medical expenses, a Medicare Supplement Plan can help. These plans can cover your Part A deductible and coinsurance costs, as well as your Medicare Part B copayment, coinsurance, and deductible. There are 10 different plans to choose from, and depending on which plan you choose, you could get anywhere from 75% coverage of your medical expenses all the way up to 100%. Each plan offers a range of coverage at different price points, so you’re sure to find one that’s right for you. 

Need help finding the right plan? EZ can compare all 10 Medicare Supplement Plans and find the one that will meet your financial and medical needs. Our agents work with the top-rated insurance companies in the nation, which makes comparing plans easy, quick, and free – our services come at no cost to you because we just want to help you save money so you can focus on your health. To get free instant quotes on plans that cover your doctors, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to a local licensed agent, call 888-753-7207.

Prevent Heart Disease With Medicare Screenings

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), heart disease has been the leading cause of death for Americans ages 65 and over for the past several decades. One in four deaths is contributed to some form of heart disease, meaning any kind of condition, such as heart rhythm disorders, coronary heart disease, and congestive heart failure, that can lead to heart attack or stroke. The best way to prevent heart disease is to know your risk. Fortunately, because heart disease is so common – and deadly – in people aged 65 and older, Medicare offers multiple free screenings to help prevent it.

Medicare Coverage

Medicare Part B covers an annual cardiovascular disease risk reduction visit with your primary care physician. You do not need to show any signs or symptoms of heart disease in order to get screened. As long as your doctor or other health care provider accepts Medicare assignment, you will not pay anything for this screening. During the screening, your physician might:

three white pill bottles with the word aspirin on them

  • Encourage aspirin use if the benefits outweigh the risks and:
    • You are a man age 45-79
    • You are a woman age 55-79
  • Check your blood pressure
  • Encourage a healthy diet

Once you get the initial screening, your doctor may advise further screenings, tests, and treatments. Medicare Part B also covers:

  • Aneurysm Screenings- Aortic aneurysms thin out areas in your arteries, which can weaken them. Medicare pays for a free screening for aneurysms as long you meet the following conditions: you have a family history of aortic aneurysm, or are a man between the ages of 65 and 75 who has smoked 100 or more cigarettes in his lifetime
  • Cholesterol Screenings- Having high cholesterol leads to build up in your arteries, which can restrict blood flow to the heart. Medicare covers one free cholesterol screening every 5 years. Any additional tests will not be free.

    older caucasian man on a treadmill with no shirt on and wires stuck to his chest with a doctor in the background
    Medicare will only cover a cardiac stress test for people with known heart disease and symptoms.
  • Cardiac Stress Testing- During this test, your doctor will monitor your heart while you run or walk on a treadmill. They will also examine your heart with an electrocardiogram (EKG), echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart), or imaging (pictures of your heart taken after you are injected with a radioactive tracer). **Medicare will only pay for the stress test for those with known heart disease and symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath, etc. You will pay 20% coinsurance for this test. 

For follow-ups after your free screenings or any outpatient services, Medicare will pay 80%, and you will pay the remaining 20% coinsurance out-of-pocket. If you are hospitalized or need surgery, Medicare Part A will cover your inpatient hospital stay as well as any skilled nursing care.

Paying The Medicare Coinsurance

If you are experiencing any symptoms that could be related to heart disease, or would simply like to get screened for heart disease, get yourself checked! Medicare will pay for one free screening related to heart disease. If there is an issue, or you have to seek further care for heart disease, Medicare will only pay 80% of the costs for visits, tests, and more. These costs can add up. Fortunately, Medicare Supplement Plans help pay for the 20% out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare does not cover. Having one of these plans can help you better budget for and save money on medical expenses. 

There are 10 different Medicare Supplement Plans. Each offers their own added coverage at different price points. They all help pay for any unexpected costs, and any further care management costs. EZ.Insure wants to protect your heart and your wallet by helping you find the right Medicare Supplement Plan for your needs. We will compare plans and guide you through the whole process, while answering any questions you might have. To get instant free quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak directly with a licensed agent, call 888-753-7207.