Monday, January 15, 2018

10 Medical Screenings You Should Have in 2018

If you have a New Year's resolution of improving your health, you may want to consider a few medical screenings to expedite the process. Many of these screenings can catch a health problem in the early stages, allowing you to take care of it fast.

Medicare Osteoporosis Screening

If you feel like you're not as tall as you once were, it may not be your imagination. Osteoporosis and other problems with bone mass can cause you to shrink up to two inches per year. When you see your doctor, ask about comparing your vital statistics from 2017 to see if there are significant changes.

Blood Pressure

A blood pressure check takes less than one minute and can help your doctor monitor your risk for stroke, kidney failure, or heart attacks. Blood pressure will often change gradually, so performing this screening annually can help you compare your numbers from previous years and catch any unusual patterns.

Cholesterol

As with blood pressure, cholesterol numbers may sneak up slowly, making this a good test to have performed every year. Not all cholesterol is bad, however. Your doctor will check both your HDL and the LDL levels.

HDL

High-Density Lipoprotein, or HDL, cholesterol is known as the "good" cholesterol. You want this number to be at least 60, as this particular cholesterol destroys the "bad" cholesterol. The more HDL you have, the lower LDL you'll likely have.

LDL

Low-Density Lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol is the cholesterol you don't want. This is the fat which sticks to your arteries. You'll want this number to be lower than 120 if you have no other risk factors for heart disease. If you have risk factors, you want it to be less than 100.

Dental Screenings
If you don't have much risk for gum disease, you may be able to have this performed once during 2018. If you have a history of periodontal disease, you'll want to see a dentist every six months. You'll want to see a dentist for more than just dental hygiene, however.

Dentists are able to catch early signs of oral cancer and infections which may cause severe health problems down the road. You can find more information on what dental expenses Medicare covers here.

Cancer Screenings

From mammograms for women to testicular screenings for men, annual cancer screenings are essential for those over the age of 65. They take little time and can provide early warning signs of cancer, allowing you to start treatment as soon as possible.

Vision Checks

Annual eye exams can help detect problems such as cataracts as well as glaucoma, allowing you to see clearly for years to come. In addition to preventing complications such as blindness, annual vision checks can help prevent falls and the associated physical damage which can occur from them.

Hearing Check

An annual check of your hearing can catch signs of hearing loss at an early stage, allowing you opportunities to use hearing aids or other methods of assistance. You don't want to miss your grandchildren singing their favorite songs or talking to you on the phone, so make sure you can hear them clearly.

Diabetes

A yearly check of your blood sugar can detect signs of pre-diabetes as well as signs of Diabetes II. Untreated diabetes can cause kidney failure as well as blood flow problems, so early detection and a healthy diet is key to treatment.

Mental Health

In addition to your physical health, it's a good idea to have a mental health screening performed in 2018. Issues such as depression, anxiety, and mood disorders are not limited to young adults. Screening and treatment can help you enjoy your retirement years without the weight of mental health problems weighing you down.

Cognitive Ability

In addition to mental health, it's a good idea to have a screening to check your cognitive abilities. From memory to intelligence, you want to ensure your mental abilities are not declining with age. This screening can provide early detection of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

You're young enough to enjoy your retirement years. Consider taking advantage of these screenings to keep your body and mind healthy for as many years as possible.

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Saturday, December 23, 2017

How the New US. Tax Bill Will Impact Medicare

The new tax bill which the Trump led Republican administration seeks to pass into law will be the most important health care legislation enacted in United States since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010. Though the new tax bill has its positive sides, it is envisaged that it will pose some grievous threats and…

The post How the New US. Tax Bill Will Impact Medicare appeared first on MedicareFAQ.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

What are the Best Florida Medicare Supplement Plans for 2018

Florida Medicare Supplement Plans, also known as Medigap insurance, helps pay for health care expenses that are not covered by Original Medicare. Some of these expenses include deductibles, co-payments, and coinsurance. Some Medicare gap plans may also offer to cover services not covered by the Original Medicare such as medical care in case you travel outside…

The post What are the Best Florida Medicare Supplement Plans for 2018 appeared first on MedicareFAQ.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Medicare Part F Cost & Benefits

Navigating the world of different Medicare “plans” and “parts” can be quite difficult, but if you’ve been asking yourself, “How much does Medicare Part F cost”, you’ve come to the right place. medicare part f costThe first thing you should know is that Original Medicare is divided into four parts.
  • Part A
  • Part B
  • Part C
  • Part D
You must be enrolled in Part A and Part B in order to be eligible to purchase a Medicare Supplement plan.
Medicare Supplement plans are divided into plans, A through N, and help pay some health costs that are not covered by traditional Medicare.
These are plans sold by private insurance companies, and the best time to purchase them is during your Open Enrollment Period. This period starts automatically the month you turn 65 and enrolled in Part B. Carriers don’t have to accept you if you apply outside of that window.
Read full post for Medicare Part F Cost & Benefits here.

Monday, August 7, 2017

What is Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C)

What is Medicare Part C? It's an alternative to the traditional plans. More commonly referred to as Medicare Advantage, private insurance companies who receive compensation for each individual they insure carry these alternative options. Those who have chosen a Medicare Advantage Plan are still enrolled in traditional Medicare and must continue paying their Medicare Part B premiums for 2017.

Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C)

When Medicare Parts A, B, and C are combined into a comprehensive plan, you have Medicare Part C. Medicare Advantage plans also come with the addition of several benefits not offered with traditional Medicare plans. While all plans are required to have equivalent coverage to Medicare plans, there is a significant amount of variation between Part C plans such as pricing and benefits.

If you're considering this plan, each option should be researched thoroughly. There are many different types of private plans that are available, ranging from HMO set ups to Medical savings accounts. These plans are responsible for the coverage of all of your Medicare Part A & Medicare Part B needs and are held to the same standards that govern the traditional plans, except being required to cover costs related to hospice stays.

Not all plans are the same, but many offer benefits such as prescription drug coverage, vision, dental, hearing, and even long-term care coverage. Because Part C plans are not required to cover an expense deemed medically necessary, it's always important to check with your plan before assuming the coverage of a benefit. Due to being a part of a privately owned insurance companies, Medicare Part C plans are often a part of a network.

How Much is Medicare Advantage Part C

Part C plans have the potential to save their members a considerable amount of money, depending on their coverage needs. Savings are largely possible because as opposed to a traditional plan, you can expect to pay a flat copay for their medications and doctor visits, as opposed to a percentage of the total cost.

Is there a Donut Hole

Additionally, a Part C plan doesn't have a donut hole. Should deductibles be met, beneficiaries don't owe on their medically related costs for the remainder of the coverage period. Deductibles in a Part C plan, however, are often much higher than those associated with a traditional plan.

Will an Advantage Plan Save Me Money

Whether or not an Advantage Plan would save you money is dependent on several factors, like particular drugs used and whether or not medications are on the plans approved list. It's also beneficial to determine whether or not you find yourself needing extra services like dental, vision and hearing often enough to benefit from the additional coverage.

An insurance professional would be able to help you determine what your costs would be with a Part C plan as opposed to a traditional Medicare plan, allowing you to make a financially sound coverage decision.

Medicare Advantage Part C Requirements & Exceptions

Admittance into a Part C plan comes with a few requirements and exceptions.


  1. You must live in the coverage area of a particular plan
  2. Must already have Original Medicare

With few exceptions, they can't qualify if they have end-stage renal disease, which is kidney failure that requires dialysis and a kidney transplant.

It's important to ensure that you choose the plan that best fits your needs, as besides in extreme cases the enrollment periods are limited to a few weeks, once a year. Enrollment periods are between October 15th and December 7th of each year. During this period you can either sign up for a Part C plan or switch between plans.

Should you choose to leave your Part C plan and return to a traditional Medicare plan, this time frame falls between January 1st and February 14th.