Medicare Covers Cardiovascular Disease Screenings

In this MedicareBob Wellness Wednesday video, Robert Bache explains how Medicare covers cardiovascular disease screening. Robert says, “Medicare allows you to do a very basic cardiovascular screening with your doctor for free.” Medicare.gov calls this Cardiovascular behavioral therapy. It covers an annual visit with your primary care doctor. As Robert says in his video, “you will have no out-of-pocket costs to see your doctor.”

Read this article to learn how seniors are at risk for heart disease, how to get free blood pressure checks from your doctor, and how to get free blood tests.

Seniors at Risk for Heart Disease

According to the National Institute on Aging (NIH), seniors “are much more likely than younger people to suffer a heart attack, have a stroke, or to develop coronary heart disease and heart failure. As you get older, fatty deposits may buildup in the walls of your arteries. This plaque buildup narrows your arteries and causes a “hardening of the arteries” called Arteriosclerosis.

Furthermore, Arteriosclerosis makes it harder for blood to flow through your arteries. As a result, MedlinePlus.gov says, “clots may form in these narrow arteries and block blood flow.” Moreover, “pieces of plaque can also break off and move to smaller blood vessels, blocking them.”

Cardiovascular disease screening Medicare - atherosclerosis illustration
Arteriosclerosis is a narrowing of the coronary artery

High Blood Pressure and Medicare

Cadiovascular disease screening Medicare - doctor takes blood pressure of senior
Doctor checks the blood pressure of a senior

The MayoClinic.org states the amount of blood your heart pumps, and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries determines blood pressure. For example, when you exercise, your heart beats faster and pumps more blood raising your blood pressure. Likewise, arterial blockages from Arteriosclerosis narrows your arteries and increases your blood pressure.

You can have high blood pressure without any symptoms. Thus, Medicare Part B covers Cardiovascular Behavioral Therapy, which includes your doctor checking your blood pressure once a year. Furthermore, your doctor may discuss aspirin use and making sure you are eating well. In addition to annual blood pressure checks, Medicare covers cardiovascular screening blood tests every five years.

Medicare Cardiovascular Disease Screening

With Medicare Part B, you can get a free blood test for cholesterol, lipid, and triglyceride levels every five years. However, if you need your blood tested more often, Medicare only covers 80%. Thus, you pay the remaining 20%. Watch the MedicareBob FAQ Friday video, and find out how to get 100% Medicare coverage on blood tests as often as you need them.

The MayoClinic.org states, “high levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol in your blood can be a sign that you’re at increased risk of having a heart attack.” Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the “bad” cholesterol that causes plaque to buildup in your arteries. Conversely, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is the “good” cholesterol because it removes the “bad” cholesterol. Furthermore, high triglyceride levels can also increase your risk of heart disease.

Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

In summary, you can lower your risk of heart disease by having your doctor check your blood pressure once a year and your blood every five years. Watch a Wellness Wednesday video and discover warning signs and medical conditions that may lead to heart disease.