Health Insurance for Seniors
Becoming eligible for Medicare is a milestone many adults look forward to. However, Medicare coverage isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. You have several plan options when enrolling in Medicare, each with different terms for what it will and won’t cover. Arm yourself with a list of your medical providers and medications so you can choose a plan with maximum coverage for your specific health care needs. If you decide to change your Medicare coverage in the future, there are additional documents you’ll want to have on hand.
Keeping Up with Senior Health Care
Preventive health care is increasingly important as you grow older. This is the health care coverage that should be on your calendar.
Vision changes are common with age. Routine eye exams are important for updating prescriptions and treating eye diseases. Original Medicare doesn’t cover routine vision care, although it provides coverage for certain vision problems. Some Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans do include vision coverage. You can also purchase standalone vision insurance.
Dental care keeps your mouth healthy and prevents other serious health conditions. However, Medicare doesn’t provide dental coverage outside of certain Part C plans. Purchasing a Medicare Advantage plan with dental coverage or a standalone dental policy helps seniors afford the cleanings and exams they need to prevent serious and expensive dental problems.
Nearly 80 percent of adults who need hearing aids don’t get them, and the cost is a big reason why. Hearing aids can cost thousands of dollars per ear, but Medicare and other health insurance policies won’t cover the expense. Because hearing is so important to your ability to age safely and independently, it’s worth saving up for this likely expense. In some cases, seniors may benefit from over-the-counter alternatives to traditional hearing aids.
General Preventive Care
Routine screenings and vaccinations are key to preventing illnesses and diagnosing health conditions before they grow serious. This is the preventive care you should receive during your annual well-visit with your physician:
- Blood pressure screening
- Cholesterol screening
- Colorectal cancer screening
- Breast cancer screening (women)
- Cervical cancer screening (women)
- Recommended immunizations
Learn more about preventive care, senior immunizations, and which preventive services are covered by health insurance at Healthfinder.gov.
Habits for Better Senior Health
Your health insurance and doctors play a big role in keeping you healthy. However, the most important person in your health care is you. These are the healthy habits you need in your daily life to enjoy great health during your senior years.
Regular exercise promotes a healthy heart, reduces your risk of mental illness, and keeps your body strong and stable so you’re less likely to suffer a fall. All seniors benefit from exercise, although if you have a health condition or haven’t exercised in a while, you should talk to your doctor first. For recommendations on exercises for older adults, read Silver Sneakers’ guide.
Healthy eating becomes more challenging with age. You require less food to maintain a healthy weight than when you were younger, but you still need a lot of nutrients to stay nourished. That means eating nutrient-dense meals is key. A meal plan helps you design a diet that matches your tastes and your nutritional needs. Get started with meal planning at Seniors Matter.
Sleep problems are common challenges faced by older adults. Seniors’ first line of defense against sleep problems is sleep hygiene. However, some sleep problems are caused by health conditions, not poor habits. If you can’t solve sleep problems on your own or you’re constantly tired and don’t know why, talk to your doctor about sleep disorders.
On average, seniors face more health challenges than younger adults. However, that doesn’t mean illness and frailty are inevitable. From enrolling in the best health insurance for you to improving your lifestyle habits, there’s a lot you can do to protect your health as you age.
Image via Unsplash