One of the things we can do to stay healthy and active is to get regular checkups. Even if you feel fine it is important to see your health care provider regularly, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The purpose of these visits is to
- Screen for diseases
- Assess risk of future medical problems
- Encourage a healthy lifestyle
- Update vaccinations
- Maintain a relationship with a doctor in case of an illness
Your medical provider will know the when to ask for screening tests, shots and referrals to other care if needed. And there are also your dental and vision checkups to add to your wellness routine.
Here are some things you can bring to make the most of your visit:
- Lists of your concerns, any allergies and all your medicines, vitamins
- A description of symptoms - when they started, what makes them better
Be sure to share your health concerns with your health care providers. Don’t forget to bring up things like skin problems, stomach or bladder troubles, sinus issues, broken bones and feet or ankle conditions. Are you having problems with your hearing, vision, or dentures? It does not have to be a major disease to be addressed. Some recent research suggests that these kinds of health problems may have a cumulative effect on mental as well as physical health.
Make sure you understand your diagnosis and any treatments. Take notes or ask your health care provider to write down his or her instructions to you.
Check it out, and stay well.
These tips brought to you by the AICPA Medicare Supplement Insurance Program. The AICPA Medicare Supplement Insurance Program offers affordable group rates and personal and responsive service to AICPA members and their spouses. For more information, call toll-free 1-800-247-1771.
National Institutes of Health, www.nih.gov
American Academy of Neurology, www.neurology.org
Medicare Preventive Services
Medicare covers a one-time “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit in the first 12 months of your Medicare Part B Coverage. After that you are eligible for a yearly “Wellness” visit. Medicare does not cover dental or vision checkups.
For a detailed list of Medicare’s coverage of preventive services visit www.medicre.gov/publication for the booklet “Your Guide to Medicare’s Preventive Services. Or, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) and ask for a copy. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
You can also visit www.MyMedicare.gov to get direct access to your preventive health information – 24 hours a day. You can track your preventive services, get a two-year calendar of the Medicare-covered tests and screening you’re eligible for, and print a personalized “on the go” report to take to your next doctor’s appointment. Visit the Web site, sign up and Medicare will send you a password to allow you access to your personal Medicare information.
New in 2012: Medicare has added coverage for preventive services to reduce obesity. Screening for obesity and counseling for eligible beneficiates by primary care providers in settings such as physicians’ offices may be covered under this new benefit.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), www.hhs.gov