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Your Health

Medicare Encourages Preventive Care

Posted: 1/11/2013

Now is the time for boomers to get ready for a healthier future
Now is the time for boomers to get ready for a healthier future by learning about their health options, including preventive care, and regular exercise such as Zumba class, so they can prepare for many more healthy and fulfilling years.

Multi-generational playgrounds let older Americans exercise and play with their grandchildren
Multi-generational playgrounds let older Americans exercise and play with their grandchildren.

(NAPSI)—As a flood of baby boomers approach 65 years of age, many face health challenges they may not have anticipated—but help may be at hand. Consider this: Thirty-one percent of people who turned 65 in 2011 said their physical health is worse than they thought it would be.1 In addition, 14 million—or one out of every four boomers—will be living with diabetes by 2030.2

As boomers continue to age, it’s important for them to focus on their health and well-being. Medicare and Medicare Advantage, the private sector Medicare option, can help them prepare for a more healthy future.

The Doctor’s Advice

“Boomers need to realize there is an array of preventive care benefits the federal health care system provides for them,” said Dr. Scott Latimer, Central Florida Senior Products Market President of Humana. “It pays to learn what Medicare and Medicare Advantage deliver and how to access these benefits.”

Benefits include preventive screenings, such as blood glucose tests, now offered by all Medicare Advantage plans. In addition, beneficiaries can participate in a comprehensive “Welcome to Medicare” session with their physician, whatever plan they choose. These provide preventive tests and screenings, including mammograms and colonoscopies; a review of medical history; and planning for a healthy future.

“Preventive health care is essential to ensuring boomers aging into Medicare and other beneficiaries live healthier, more productive lives,” Dr. Latimer explained. “Boomers should start researching Medicare health care and prescription drug plans before they enroll.”

Tips to Help You Choose

Although choosing a health plan can be daunting, boomers and beneficiaries can use these three tips to help them make the best choice.

1. Before choosing your Medicare plan, you need to understand your unique needs. How would you classify your overall health? What are your prescription drug needs? Make a list of your current medications and consider which prescription drugs you may use in the future. Talk to your doctor about your current health to get a better overall picture of your coverage needs. Review the past year’s health care expenses, including hospital, pharmacy and physician costs, to determine if that year was typical. This will help you make the best estimate for the year ahead.

2. Each of the different parts of Medicare delivers something unique. Make sure you understand them so you can make a confident choice. Use www.medicare.gov as a resource to help find and compare Medicare health plans and prescription drug plans.

3. Visit Family Health Budget (www.familyhealthbudget.com) for help estimating costs.

1. Source: Approaching 65: A survey of Baby Boomers Turning 65 Years Old, December 2010.
2. Source: American Hospital Association, May 2007.

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