If you worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least ten years of your life, you’re entitled to a zero-premium Medicare Part A, which means you only have to pay for Medicare Part B in order to receive Medicare coverage. Although these premium rates are typically more affordable than individual plans available to the under 65 market, it can still cause a strain on someone with a fixed income, so it’s important to know how to stretch those benefits out as much as possible.
Ways To Reduce Medicare Costs For 2018
Here are 11 different ways that you can maximize your Medicare coverage and improve your health to bring down your medical costs overall.
1. Medicare Advantage Plans Add an Extra Layer of Coverage
A Medicare Advantage add-on insurance can help seniors afford the medical care they need, but even these programs are quite limited. It’s very possible that a catastrophic can mean an elderly person ends up losing their home and all their life savings. Seniors should take this fact into consideration and use any means of health preservation available because as the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
2. Annual Wellness Checkups and Evaluations are Covered
Medicare encourages seniors to have a complete medical evaluation every year at the minimum, and they should get a check-up more often according to the directions of their health care provider. Medicare does offer free screenings to detect cancer, lowered bone density, diabetes, cardiovascular issues and glaucoma. A yearly wellness visit is 100 percent covered, and Flu, Hepatitis B and Pneumococcal shots are also covered.
3. Telemedicine is a Convenient Option
Even though it’s essential that seniors see their health care provider as required and have all the recommended screenings, sometimes only a virtual visit with their doctor’s office is needed. This option can help to answer most of the concerns the patient may have and can also determine whether an office visit is necessary.
4. Live Longer With Healthy Lifestyle Changes
There aren’t any guarantees when it comes to preventing the development of serious or chronic health problems, but living a healthy lifestyle can help seniors increase the number of useful and physically fit years they will enjoy. Health conscious people understand that prevention is the best way to avoid many of the life threatening health problems that commonly affect retirees. Maintaining or even increasing their level of physical activity is very important for retirees who are no longer employed.
5. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Some people are overweight once they have reached middle-age, and obesity can bring on heart disease, diabetes and other debilitating health problems. Daily walking is a great way for previously sedentary people to increase their physical activity and lose some weight. Some Medicare add-on insurance programs also offer a free Silver Sneakers membership which is available at the local YMCA.
6. Good Health Requires Good Nutrition
Healthy nutrition is important for people of any age, but a nutritious diet is even more important for seniors. It is quite common for people to develop poor eating habits because they are busy working and raising a family. Even though retirees are no longer affected by these time restrictions, they usually go on eating the same foods they are accustomed to. As people age their metabolism slows, so they should reduce their calorie intake to avoid gaining weight.
7. Good Nutrition for Seniors
A healthy diet for anyone includes lean meats, low fat dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains that are high in fiber. A lower level of metabolism also means the diet should include fewer calories than a younger person requires, so nutrient dense foods are essential. This diet is even more important as we age since our activity level decreases and maintaining a healthy weight is very important.
8. Health Problems Seniors Face
Some of the most common age-related conditions affecting elderly people include arthritis, diabetes, memory-loss, cancer and cardiac conditions caused by high cholesterol. Many seniors take multiple prescription medications to help control these health problems, but prescription medications are costly and many are not covered 100 percent. Switching to generic versions of these medicines can help to reduce the cost, but using a natural substance to treat or prevent these diseases may be a better choice for some.
9. Alzheimer’s Disease on the Rise
One of the most feared age-related conditions affecting seniors is Alzheimer’s disease. This debilitating condition seems more and more prevalent, and science hasn’t found a cure or any way to prevent it. Instead of enjoying well-earned retirement, too many seniors find themselves in a frightening world of lost memories. Family members watch helplessly as their loved ones become confused and so forgetful they can’t even recognize their loved ones. Although research hasn’t yet identified Curcumin as an effective treatment for the condition, daily supplementation with this natural substance has been shown to be effective in slowing or preventing the effects of this debilitating condition.
10. Choose the Right Health Care Services Provider
An osteopath is a doctor who uses a more natural approach when it comes to treating disease. While these specialists also prescribe traditional prescription medications, they will work with their patients in the use of some supplements. Curcumin has been found effective in treating common health issues such as arthritis, high-cholesterol, diabetes and dementia.
11. Always Check With the Doctor
It’s essential that anyone choosing to try supplementation with any substance should discuss their wishes with their doctor. Some natural substances can interact with prescription medications, so seniors should always be cautious about combining supplements with any prescribed drugs.