Medicare and Advance Care Planning?>

Medicare and Advance Care Planning

by Barbara Sadick  

If you’re 65 or older, have been enrolled in Medicare Part B for more than 12 months, and your doctors and other authorized health care providers accept assignment, you’re entitled to a yearly wellness visit. The visit covers advance care planning that’s considered a preventive service for no charge.

If you ask for advance care planning as part of a standard medical appointment, your Part B deductible and coinsurance apply. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are also eligible to provide guidance.

As of January 2016, Medicare has been paying $86 for 30 minutes of advance care planning in a doctor’s office and $80 in a hospital. In both locations, Medicare will pay up to $75 for an additional 30 minutes.

Medicare will automatically pay only for a single conversation of no more than 60 minutes. But coverage may be extended if your doctor can document changes in your health status or in your wishes for end-of-life care at future visits during which the discussion is continued.

This article first appeared in the May 2019 issue of UC Berkeley Health After 50.