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The Future of Medicare under ObamaThere are screenings that you can get to find out if you are at risk for a heart attack. If you’ve already had a heart attack, Medicare may cover some rehabilitative services required for you to get back on track.

Medicare covers heart health screenings that are intended to catch early warning signs of cardiovascular disease such as a heart attack or stroke. These are blood tests that check for cholesterol, lipid, and triglyceride levels every five years.

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How to Select or Change Part D PlansIn America, the number of deaths related to heart disease and stroke has declined since 1999, reports the American Heart Association, despite these remaining in the top three leading causes of death in the country. Furthermore, coronary heart disease and stroke can result in an even greater number of disabilities in survivors, along with a drastic reduction of the quality of life for many Americans who suffer them.

While the statistics are moving in the right direction, it’s clear that there’s still much work to be done to reduce those numbers further. As such, it’s important for Medicare beneficiaries to understand that preventive measures can be taken to help combat the potential for heart disease and stroke.

You should always talk with your doctor about your risks for these illnesses and understand that Medicare offers cardiovascular screening blood tests that can be used in the early detection of cardiovascular disease.

 

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The White House Reaches a Verdict on Eligibility AgeMedicare covers prostate cancer screenings. There are two screenings available, a digital rectal exam and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, and these are available once every 12 months for all male Medicare beneficiaries over the age of 50 (beginning on the day after your 50th birthday).

These screenings are covered by Medicare Part B (outpatient hospital care and doctor’s services). Because Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurance companies that have contracted with Medicare to offer Part A and Part B benefits, the screenings are covered under these plans as well.

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About Elder Abuse in the United StatesElder abuse happens more often than is reported, with one in 10 Americans over the age of 60 experiencing some form of it. This is a disturbing trend that, thankfully, isn’t impossible to combat.

The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) has released some sobering statistics that show nearly 1 in 2 people suffering from dementia will suffer abuse at the hands of someone else and that, on the whole, the topic of elder abuse goes underreported as it happens.

A New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study determined that for every known instance of elder abuse, there was a staggering figure of 23.5 cases that were unknown to programs and agencies. In cases where elderly victims were exploited for financial gain, 44 cases were unreported for every documented case. Only one in 14 instances of elder abuse are brought to the attention of authorities.

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Does Exposure to Natural Light Have Health Benefits?A new study suggests that having a window seat at work could improve the quality of your health, and exposure to natural light is a key component in your daily regimen.

Something that we may take for granted is our exposure to natural light. Personally, I have a finished basement where I like to unwind after a long day. The catch? It’s a windowless room, and spending a lot of time down there can be disorienting if I lose track of time.

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Medicare and Incontinence CoverageIncontinence refers to the involuntary excretion or urine or fecal matter, and it is often separated into two separate types of toilet problems: urinary incontinence and fecal incontinence.

Medicare does not cover incontinence supplies or adult diapers.

Urinary incontinence

The Mayo Clinic lists several risk factors that could lead to the onset of urinary incontinence, some of which are unavoidable. Women are more likely to suffer from urinary incontinence as a subset of stress brought on by pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. That does not mean men are not at risk, however, as those with prostate gland problems also have an increased risk of this type of incontinence.

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Senior discussing his hospital status with a doctor

Many beneficiaries wrongly assume their overnight hospital stay is considered inpatient and covered by Medicare Part A – only to end up paying thousands of dollars in hospital bills after they’re discharged. Learn how a patient’s hospital status affects Medicare hospital coverage and costs.

Imagine this scenario: You come down with food poisoning and need medical treatment.* When you visit your doctor, he orders you to stay in the hospital to monitor your condition. You’re given a bed and stay for two nights before you’re discharged. A month later, you receive a hefty hospital bill that Medicare won’t pay for because it says you were admitted under “observation status.” You end up saddled with a $1,216 bill for what you thought was a Medicare-covered, inpatient hospital stay.

Many Medicare beneficiaries don’t realize that their patient status affects what Medicare covers and how much they pay out-of-pocket. Whether a patient is covered as an inpatient under Medicare Part A or an outpatient under Medicare Part B could be a difference of thousands of dollars.

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Walking is good exercise for bone strengthOut of sight, out of mind — sometimes, we treat our bones that way. We don’t see them, so we don’t think about keeping our bones healthy. They must be OK because they’re still working, right?

But as we get older, our bones may become brittle and more easily broken if we aren’t careful. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 10% of women over 50 and 2% of men over 50 get osteoporosis of the hip, which is a dangerous bone weakening that often leads to fractures. Osteoporosis accounts for 306,000 people each year breaking their hips and requiring hospital stays of over five days.

The U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis has useful advice about how to take care of your bones, even for older adults. Check out the following tips from the report, and learn to keep your bones healthy and strong so you can avoid weak bones.

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Assisted Living: Observations, Surprises, and Caveats

Do you know what to expect when it comes to deciding on an assisted living facility for seniors?

Some of our kids say we should move out of the house. Isn’t this what we said to them when they grew up? But now it’s different: they’re telling us to move out of our own homes. This blog post gives you one woman’s experience when it comes to senior assisted living and some tips on what to look out for.

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Older adult browsing the internet.

When you think of a “tech-savvy” person, who comes to mind? An image of Grandma expertly tweeting, posing for Snapchat, or skyping on her iPad might not jump out – but maybe it should. 

A recent Pew study on older adults and technology use found that some subsets of the senior population use the internet at levels equal to – and even surpassing – the general population.

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