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Retirees are entitled to a variety of preventive tests and services once they sign up for Medicare at age 65. Some of these screenings are provided with no out-of-pocket costs for retirees. Here are some of the free preventive services Medicare beneficiaries are eligible to take advantage of.

Bone mass measurements. This test determines if you're at risk for broken bones due to osteoporosis. Those with low bone density have a higher risk of bone fractures. Bone mass measurements are covered once every 24 months with no out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries.

Cardiovascular disease screening. Tests for cholesterol, lipid and triglyceride levels are covered by Medicare once every five years with no cost-sharing requirement. High levels of cholesterol might mean you have a greater risk of heart disease and stroke.

Colonoscopy. This colorectal cancer screening is covered for free once every 120 months (or 24 months for high risk patients). In addition to detecting colorectal cancer, this procedure can find pre-cancerous polyps in the colon and remove them before they become cancerous. However, if a polyp is removed during the colonoscopy you may have to pay 20 percent of the cost of the doctor's services and a copayment to the medical facility. Several types of related tests are also covered, such as a fecal occult blood test once every 12 months.

Depression screening. Medicare provides free depression screenings that are conducted in a doctor's office or other primary care setting.

Diabetes screening. People with diabetes often don't make enough insulin, which results in dangerously high blood sugar levels. Medicare covers up to two blood screenings to detect diabetes per year for people who are at risk for the disease.

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Posted 4:21 PM

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