Act now: Medicare Open Enrollment ends December 7

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Time’s running out to make changes to your Medicare coverage for 2020! Medicare Open Enrollment ends December 7.

3 reasons to compare your Medicare coverage for 2020 during open enrollment

Even if you’re happy with your current Medicare coverage, it’s important to know your options for the upcoming year. Here’s why it could be beneficial to change your Medicare coverage:

  1. Needs change. Maybe your trips to the doctor are more/less frequent, prescriptions have changed, or you need more access to health care services.

Support World AIDS Day – Get your HIV screening today

Did you know that nearly 40,000 people are diagnosed with HIV in the U.S. each year? Of the 1.1 million people currently living with HIV in the U.S., 1 in 7 don’t even know they have it. Medicare covers HIV screenings for people with Medicare 15-65 years old who ask for the test, people younger than 15 or older than 65 who are at increased risk, and pregnant women.

3 ways to save on Medicare costs

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You may be able to get help paying for your health and prescription drug costs. Even if you aren’t sure you’re eligible, it’s worth learning more about these 3 ways to save on Medicare costs:

  1. Medicaid

If you have limited income and resources, you may qualify for Medicaid—a joint federal and state program that:

  • Helps with medical costs
  • Offers benefits not normally covered by Medicare, like nursing home care and personal care services

    Each state has different rules about eligibility and applying for Medicaid. Call your state Medicaid program to see if you qualify, learn how to apply, and how Medicare works with Medicaid.

Smoke-free is the way to be

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Every year, more people die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer, and smoking is the leading cause. In addition to lung cancer, smoking can cause other health problems, like heart disease and respiratory diseases. More than 34 million people in the U.S. still smoke tobacco, but quitting smoking can help prevent these health problems. You can quit smoking today, and Medicare can help.

4 things to consider when comparing Medicare plans

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Know how to take antibiotics the right way

Welcome back to cold and flu season! But remember, if you get sick, taking antibiotics won’t always help. If you get a cold or flu, antibiotics could do more harm than good. That’s because these are viral infections, and antibiotics only fight bacterial infections. Every time you take antibiotics, they kill sensitive bacteria, but resistant germs can survive to grow and multiply. These resistant germs are called “antibiotic-resistant,” and they can lead to severe infections, hospitalizations, and death, especially among people over 65.

This week is Antibiotic Awareness Week. Here are 3 things you can do to make sure you’re using antibiotics the right way:

A COPD screening can help you breathe easier

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of diseases that cause breathing problems, like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma. People with COPD are more likely to have difficulty walking or climbing stairs, be unable to work, and have other chronic diseases, like diabetes or heart disease.

A test for COPD can help you detect it early, when treatment works best. Medicare Part B covers a lung cancer screening with Low Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) once per year if you meet all of these conditions:

  • You’re 55-77

You have Medicare coverage for peace of mind

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Having health coverage that meets your unique needs can give you peace of mind. Because Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) and Medical Insurance (Part B) don’t cover everything, you have options to consider:

Add a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D): If you take regular prescriptions, you may want to consider adding a prescription drug plan. All Part D plans must give at least a standard level of coverage set by Medicare. Plans can vary the list of prescription drugs they cover (called a formulary) and how they place drugs into different “tiers” on their formularies.

Help fight Alzheimer’s disease!

Each year, more Americans are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease -a progressive, irreversible brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. Help fight Alzheimer’s disease by visiting your doctor each year to catch symptoms to find out early.

Medicare can help you detect Alzheimer’s disease with a yearly Wellness visit. If you’ve had Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) for longer than 12 months, you can get early Wellness visit once every 12 months. During the visit, your doctor can perform a cognitive impairment assessment to look for signs of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Also, as part of the yearly Wellness visit, you’ll also develop or update your personalized prevention plan to help fight disease and disability based on your current health and risk factors.

There’s help for caregivers, too

If you’re caring for an elderly, ill, or disabled family member, you’re one of about 44 million Americans who care for loved ones with a chronic illness, disability, or frailty. Family caregivers provide an average of 24 hours of care per week. When you’re a caregiver, it can be hard to care for yourself.

November is National Family Caregiver Month—a perfect opportunity to reach out for caregiver support if you’re caring for someone with Medicare. Here are 4 things you can do this month to help you help your loved one:

  1. Visit Acl.gov to find caregiver support programs and resources that can help you.