Make Your Health a Priority; Your Body Will Thank You LaterPosted by Medicare Made Clear
Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is especially true when it comes to your health. Staying active, eating well and getting regular check-ups are habits that should be formed early and carried on throughout your life, including into your older years.
According to the 2016 United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings Senior Report, today’s seniors are healthier now than they were three years ago. That’s great news; however challenges remain like poor nutrition, obesity and diabetes. These same challenges are facing tomorrow’s seniors (those who are currently 50-64). People who are currently middle-aged aren’t as healthy as the previous generation, and may face greater health risks when they become seniors.
“As a geriatrician, I see certain health conditions ‘snowball’ as people age – that is, smaller problems in middle-age can get much larger and more complicated, affecting overall health much more as we age,” said Rhonda Randall, D.O., senior adviser to United Health Foundation and chief medical officer and executive vice president, UnitedHealthcare Retiree Solutions.
That’s why it’s important to take healthy steps today to help get the most out of your life tomorrow.
Medicare’s Got You Covered
Medicare pays for many preventive services – like exams, shots, lab tests, screenings, health monitoring programs, counseling and education – all designed to help you live a healthier life. These preventive services can help find problems early and can help keep you on a healthy path.
Get the most out of your Medicare coverage by taking advantage of:
Weight Loss Counseling
- Medicare covers behavioral counseling sessions to help you lose weight. This counseling may be covered if you get it in a primary care setting (like a doctor’s office), where it can be coordinated with your other care and a personalized prevention plan. Talk to your primary care doctor or practitioner to find out more.
Medical Nutrition Therapy
- Medicare Part B (medical insurance) covers medical nutrition therapy (MNT) services and certain related services. A registered dietitian or nutrition professional who meets certain requirements can provide these services, which may include an initial nutrition and lifestyle assessment, one-on-one nutritional counseling, and follow-up visits to check on your progress in managing your diet.
Diabetes Screenings and Education
- Medicare Part B covers screenings to check for diabetes. You may be eligible for two diabetes screenings each year.
- Medicare Part B covers outpatient diabetes self-management training (DSMT) to teach you to cope with and manage your diabetes.
- Medicare helps cover diabetes supplies and services to keep you healthy.
Smoking and Tobacco-Use Cessation Counseling
If you are ready to quit, or you want to help someone else take the first step, help is available.
- Medicare Part B pays 80% of the Medicare-approved amount for up to eight face-to-face quit smoking and tobacco-use counseling visits in a 12-month period. These visits must be provided by a qualified doctor or other Medicare-recognized provider.
Be your own best friend. Make your health a priority. Your annual Medicare Wellness Visit is a great time to talk to your doctor about your concerns, and to make sure you’re up to date with your screenings and shots.
For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.