Want to stay healthy in 2016? Of course you do! But, those healthy new year’s resolutions go by the wayside very quickly. Preventative medicine is one of the easiest ways to stay healthy and know where to focus your efforts. Fortunately for older adults, Medicare pays for a great deal of preventative medicine.
Let’s start the new year with two simple actions you can take to make being healthier in 2016 easier!
Preventative Medicine Covered by Medicare
Check out Medicare’s full listing of preventative medicine and screenings covered in 2016. Your Medicare Part B will pay for these services with no cost to you!
When you first join Medicare, you are covered for a Welcome to Medicare visit (eligible for the first 12 months you’re covered). The preventative care visit includes a review of your medical and social history, basic screenings (BMI; height, weight and blood pressure; simple vision test; safety and depression screening), an opportunity to talk about advance directives; education about preventative services; and a written plan for screenings, shots and preventative medicine (as well as referrals to other medical care, if needed).
Thereafter, you are eligible for an annual wellness visit. You will fill out a health questionnaire to help your doctor create a personal prevention plan for you. The annual visit includes: a review of your medical history; pulling together (or updating) a list of current providers and medications; height, weight, blood pressure, and other key measurements; cognitive impairment screening; personalized health advice (risk factors and treatment options, along with a screening schedule of the preventative medicine you need).
We advise you to take advantage of this vital preventative care and put together a plan with your primary care physician. Action for good health in 2016: Take a look at when you last did a wellness visit, and contact your doctor’s office to schedule for this year (it’s covered as long as 11+ months have passed).
Care Coordination in Preventative Medicine
Speaking of which, do you have a primary care physician who serves as a good partner for your health? This is essential in managing your health. If you do not currently have a primary physician looking after your health (or are not happy with your current provider), contact our team for recommendations. Older adults may want to consider a gerontologist, specially trained to meet your needs (though they are in short supply in many areas).
Action for good health in 2016: We recommend a patient advocate consultation to ensure your records are organized (and available) and to identify any gaps in care coordination. Our patient advocates can make the task of getting organized super easy and can reduce the stress of navigating your healthcare. We have simple tips and resources to improve coordination of care and get you better results.
Throughout the year, our patient advocates will continue to share actionable advice and excellent resources so that you can age wisely and well. Linda Chamberlain also shares insight, personal stories and a wealth of knowledge (over 25 years in elder law, social services and healthcare) in Linda’s Journal. Don’t miss anything…sign up for our newsletter!