Return to top of page

Prevention

Preventive care can help you stay healthy and find medical problems early. Medicare offers a number of important preventive services like yearly wellness visits, screenings, and vaccines. In 2010, the Affordable Care Act added preventive services for all Medicare beneficiaries. Before that, Medicare mainly focused on diagnosis and treatment, with few services aimed at prevention.

Medicare covers two types of yearly visits:the Welcome to Medicare preventive visit and the yearly wellness visit–also called the annual wellness visit. These preventive visits are NOT head-to-toe physicals, but they are a great opportunity to make sure you are up to date on important screenings and vaccines, to talk with your healthcare provider about your family and medical history, and to make a plan to stay as healthy as possible, for as long as possible. These visits are recommended for everyone—whether you already have a chronic condition or you are hoping to prevent one.

The Medicare preventive visits include reviewing your medical, social, and family history; discussing a preventive screening schedule based on your particular health conditions and risk factors; taking routine measurements like weight and blood pressure; discussing your risk of depression; doing a basic visual acuity screening; reviewing current opioid prescriptions and discussing risk of opioid use disorders; screening for cognitive or memory problems; making referrals for screenings and other care; and helping with end-of-life planning. 

If other screenings are needed, they will be scheduled separately and you should be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about cost. There is generally no cost for most preventive screenings, however, when and how often you can get these services varies by person and screening. There are also some screenings that aren’t covered. For example, Medicare covers a one time visual acuity screening but does not cover routine eye exams for the purposes of contact lenses or eyeglasses.

The Healthy Aging Blog on Prevention

"This is Growing Old" podcast cover with portrait of Dr. William Schaffner.

44. NFID Medical Director William Schaffner, MD Shares Vital Vaccine Info

Portrait of Beverlye Hyman Fead.

Musings From Beverlye Hyman Fead, A Hero in Health

Christmas decorations.

Celebrating 35 Years of Enhancing Healthy Aging

Screengrab of Jim Scott and Sue Peschin from "This is Growing Old" podcast.

Chairman’s Blog: Sharing This Year’s Top Stories in Aging and Health

Videos on Prevention

Watch video

How to Make a Difference this Holiday Season with Meals on Wheels for This is Growing Old

Colder weather is upon us, and that means that many older adults may be isolated at home. Here to talk…

more.
Watch video

Malnutrition and Aging: What You Need to Know for This Is Growing Old

October 4 through 8 is Malnutrition Awareness Week. Joining Alliance Vice President of Health Education and Advocacy Lindsay Clarke is…

more.
Watch video

Celebrate Grandparents Day and Learn the Truth About Vaccines

On September 13, Generations United and the Alliance for Aging Research shared important facts about vaccines with older adults who…

more.

News & Updates on Prevention

Living Longer and Loving It

Sign up for our monthly e-mail newsletter for the latest information on
scientific research on aging and health.

Ways to Give

There are many ways you can help accelerate the pace of scientific discoveries and their application to vastly improve the universal human experience of aging and health:

Candid Seal of Platinum Transparency 2022

The Alliance for Aging Research is a proud recipient of Candid’s Platinum Seal of Transparency.

Charity Navigator logo

The Alliance for Aging Research is proud to be rated a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator.