Medicare changes for 2022 – Orange County Register
There are a few benefit changes to Medicare in 2022, though revisions are still being made.
The actual costs of all services will probably not be known until the opening of the enrollment period on Oct. 15. These changes will not take effect until Jan. 1.
More details can be found in the “Medicare and You” book sent each year to all those eligible for Medicare. Known changes:
• Bariatric surgery: For patients with special conditions related to morbid obesity, Medicare will cover some bariatric surgical procedures, like gastric bypass surgery and laparoscopic banding surgery.
• Blood-based biomarker test: Medicare will pay for this test once every 3 years if a doctor or other health-care provider will accept assignment. The patient must meet these standards: Age between 50-85, no signs of colorectal disease and at average risk for developing colorectal cancer.
• COVID-19 coverage: Medicare will pay for vaccines. FDA-authorized diagnostic tests are free when obtained from a laboratory, pharmacy, doctor or hospital. FDA-authorized antibody tests are free. FDA-authorized monoclonal antibody treatments are free from a Medicare provider or supplier, but certain conditions must be met to qualify.
• Preventive service: During the first 12 months that an enrollee has Part B, they can get a free “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit for a review of their medical and social history. Ask your doctor’s office to schedule a preventive visit. If they have a current prescription for opioids, their provider will review your potential risk factors for opioid use disorder, evaluate severity of pain and current treatment plan, provide information on non-opioid treatment options, and may make a referral to a specialist.
• Yearly wellness visit: Those with Part B for more than 12 months can get a free yearly wellness visit to develop or update a personalized plan to prevent disease or disability based on their current health and risk factors.
• Cognitive assessment: During the wellness visit, a cognitive assessment may be undertaken to look for signs of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, and cognitive impairment including trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, managing finances or making decisions. Medicare covers a separate visit with the regular doctor or a specialist to do a full review of the cognitive function, establish or confirm a diagnosis.