Medicare helps cover hospital stay, doctor's visits, and prescription drugs for adults 65 and older. But some of its most lucrative benefits are the least used. It offers a range of preventative check-ups, counseling and other services, in many cases, at no extra cost, to help you better manage your health and improve your quality of life without straining your budget. Here are five of these benefits that you need to consider to reap.
1. Annual Wellness Visits
Medicare recipients are entitled to one free wellness visit per year. Your doctor will evaluate your weight, blood pressure and overall health. You can also be evaluated for signs of Alzheimer's or dementia.
These reviews can account for your health issues before they become serious, so you can correct them. Understanding your health risks and making a few simple lifestyle changes can be the difference between staying healthy in old age or having high medical costs for preventable illnesses.
2. Obesity and Smoking Counseling
Smoking and obesity are key factors in heart disease and diabetes. Smoking can also lead to lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and many other diseases. These conditions can cost you a fortune in medicines and prescriptions ̵
At Medicare, you can seek professional advice about these conditions. But there are limitations. Obesity counseling is free only for adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. And while Medicare will pay for counseling to quit smoking, it does not cover the cost of nicotine patches, tablets or chewing gum to help you stop smoking.
3. Hospice Care
You can qualify for free hospice care if you are given six months or less to live. This can ease the burden on your family's finances while still making your family comfortable. Medicare, however, sets limits on what types of facilities are eligible for hospice coverage.
In addition to taking care of your physical well-being during this time, Medicare will also cover grievous counseling for you and your family members, so you can all come depending on your impending loss.
4. Disease checks
Medicare will pay for the disease screening if your doctor determines that you are at risk for diabetes, heart disease, hepatitis B or C, HIV or some cancers. You will have to pay for some of the treatment out of your pocket if you happen to have any of these illnesses, but you do not have to delay going to a doctor to be tested for cost. Your prognosis for many of these diseases is better when detected earlier, so take advantage of these free screenings if you feel you are at risk for any of these health problems.
Medicare will also pay for a hearing exam if your doctor says it is medically necessary. But if it's something you do of your own choice, you'll have to pay for the exam yourself.
5. Some Medical Facilities
Medicare covers some durable medical facilities, including wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, blood sugar monitors, walkers and even hospital beds. It is strange that he looks at one of the most commonly used pieces of durable medical equipment: hearing aids. Medicare doesn't cover them at all, so you have to pay them out of your pocket or look for other types of coverage that can help you pay the costs.
Everyone loves to take advantage of free services. And some of these Medicare services listed above can help you save money, live a longer and healthier life, and prevent future costly medical bills. Take advantage of the annual wellness visit if you have not already done so, and ask your doctor for any of the other services mentioned here that may apply to you.