More than 5M on Medicare use free preventive care

June 20, 2011 - 12:58 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says more than 5 million seniors have taken advantage of one or more preventive services that Medicare started covering free of charge this year because of the new health care law.

Nonetheless, officials launched a publicity campaign Monday to raise awareness among seniors and their doctors about the new benefits. An annual check-up is included, as well as specific tests for such conditions as osteoporosis, different kinds of cancer that affect men and women, and heart problems. Counseling for smokers who want to quit is also covered.

With many people living a decade or longer after they become eligible for Medicare at age 65, prevention is becoming a more important priority for the program.

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