One of the major benefits an entering retirement is finally qualifying for medicare. For decades, tax payers contribute a portion of their paychecks into medicare funds without even seeing the money. Fortunately, this investment pays off in the long run as individuals eventually qualify for major medical benefits. After all, medical costs can add up especially for seniors as health inevitably begins to deteriorate. Here are seven preventative services that medicare provides to keep individuals healthy. These coverages can make planning for future medical costs significantly easier.
1. First Free Preventive Visit
Retirees are offered a free preventative doctor’s visit during the first 12 months being enrolled in the program. Individuals are encouraged to take advantage of this free visit even though it is not required. Common health screenings such as measuring blood pressure, weight, review of medical history and a vision test are all conducted.
2. Annual Wellness Exams
Similar to the free preventive visit, retirees also are provided annual wellness exams free of charge. These exams will include common health tests to ensure that the individual is healthy. Doctor’s will also test for possible complications in order to prevent the deterioration of health.
3. Cardiovascular Disease Tests
Heart disease and stroke are among the most common causes of death in the United States. For this reason, retirees are also offered free cardiovascular disease screenings every five years. These tests can help detect common risk factors for heart disease and stroke such as high cholesterol.
A colonoscopy is a common treatment to receive as you age. These cancer screenings are offered for free every 120 months or every two years for patients with higher risk. Besides detecting colorectal cancer, this exam can also detect precancerous polyps. However, the removal of these polyps may require a copayment on behalf of the patient.
5. Bone Density Measurements
Osteoporosis a major issue affecting older individuals. This condition puts seniors at greater risk for broken bones and other skeletal system injuries. Individuals with lower bone density are at higher risk in this category. Fortunately, retirees can receive bone density measurement every two years without charge.
6. Depression Tests
Late-life depression affects 6 million seniors in the United States. Unfortunately, a small percentage of these individuals actually receive treatment for their depression. However, there are free depression screenings for older individuals. This is an important treatment that should be taken advantage of.
Cancer is one of the scariest conditions for individuals of any age. Fortunately for retirees, mammograms are often covered completely without cost of a copay. These tests are provided once every year. This treatments is an effective method for detecting the early developments of cancer or mutations that could cause the condition.
Retirement should be a time of relaxation and appreciation. However, the health risks involved with aging and the rising cost of medical care can cause worry and fear. Fortunately, seniors are eligible for countless preventative treatments and tests. However, retirement planning is still required and recommended.
Eric and Jennifer Lahaie
JEHM Wealth & Retirement
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