Become a donor—save lives

Every day, 20 people die while waiting for an organ transplant. Just one donor can save and heal up to 75 lives through organ and tissue donation. Today, there are more than 114,000 patients waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant and many more who need cornea, tissue, bone marrow, blood, and platelet donations. There are 2 ways to become a donor:

  1. Deceased organ donors—can donate both kidneys, liver, both lungs, heart, pancreas, and intestines.
  2. Living organ donor—can donate one kidney, one lung, or a portion of the liver, pancreas, or intestines.

Go red to support women fighting heart disease

Every minute, heart disease takes the life of a woman in the United States, even though nearly 80% of cardiac events can be prevented. Heart disease doesn’t affect every woman in the same way, but there are signs to look for and ways to help prevent it.

Medicare covers cardiovascular disease screenings every 5 years for people with Part B. Quitting smoking also helps lower your risk of heart disease, and Medicare covers smoking and tobacco use cessation counseling for people with Part B.

National Wear Red Day is February 1st. Support the women in your life and #WearRedandGive.

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Get Medicare’s new “What’s covered” app!

What's Covered mobile app photoNot sure if Medicare will cover your medical test or service? Medicare’s free “What’s covered” app delivers accurate cost and coverage information right on your smartphone. Now you can quickly see whether Medicare covers your service in the doctor’s office, the hospital, or anywhere else you use your phone.

“What’s covered” is available for free on both the App Store and Google Play. Search for “What’s covered” or “Medicare” and download the app to your phone. Once “What’s covered” is installed, you can use it to get reliable Medicare information even when you’re offline.

Are you using your new Medicare card?

You should have received your new Medicare card in the mail by now. If you have your new Medicare card, start using it right away!  Also remember to destroy your old Medicare card so no one can get your personal information.

If you’re still waiting on your new card, here’s what to do next:

  • Look around the house for any old or unopened mail. Your new Medicare card will come in a plain white envelope from the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Sign in to MyMedicare.gov to get your number or print your official card.  If you don’t have a MyMedicare.gov account yet, visit MyMedicare.gov to create one.

Take action to prevent vision loss

More than 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma. Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can cause permanent vision loss and blindness. Some forms of glaucoma don’t have any symptoms, so you may still have glaucoma even if you don’t have any trouble seeing or feel any pain. If you find and get treatment for glaucoma early, you can protect your eyes from serious vision loss.

January is glaucoma awareness month, and it’s the perfect time to check and see if you’re at high risk. You’re at high risk for glaucoma if one or more of these applies to you:

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Know your body, know the signs for ovarian cancer

Each year, over 22,000 women in the U.S. get ovarian cancer. It’s the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women. Early diagnosis is the key to survival, and the key to early diagnosis is recognizing the symptoms of ovarian cancer:

◾Bloating

◾Pelvic or abdominal pain

◾Trouble eating or feeling full quickly

◾Urgency or frequency of urination

Women have unique health concerns, including certain types of cancers and high rates of chronic disease. Medicare covers many services to address these concerns, like a yearly “Wellness” visit, bone mass measurement, cervical cancer screenings, mammograms, and cardiovascular screenings. Medicare also covers other preventive services, so talk to your doctor about risk factors and to schedule your next screening.

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Preventing pneumonia is easy

Did you know that about 1 million Americans go to the hospital with pneumonia every year? Pneumonia is a lung infection caused by pneumococcal disease, which can also cause blood infections and meningitis. The bacteria that causes pneumococcal disease spreads by direct person-to-person contact. There’s a vaccine to help prevent pneumonia, but only 67% of adults 65 and over have ever gotten it.

Medicare can help protect you from pneumococcal infections. The pneumococcal shot is the best way to help prevent these infections. Medicare Part B covers the shot and a second shot one year after you got the first shot.

CMS Doubling Down on Health IT; Patients

July 19
by CMS

By Seema Verma, Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Americans enjoy the benefits of the best healthcare providers and innovators in the world. Yet while the volume of care consumed by American patients has not increased dramatically comparative to similar economies, the cost of care in the United States has accelerated at an alarming pace. Healthcare costs continue to grow faster than the U.S. GDP, making it more difficult with each passing year for CMS to ensure healthcare to not only its beneficiaries of today, but generations of beneficiaries in the future.