Now is the time to get the most out of your Medicare. The best way to stay healthy is to live a healthy lifestyle. You can live a healthy lifestyle and prevent disease by exercising, eating well, keeping a healthy weight and not smoking. Medicare can help. Medicare pays for many preventive services to keep you healthy. Preventive services can find health problems early, when treatment works best, and can keep you from getting certain diseases. Preventive services include exams, shots, lab tests and screenings. They also include programs for health monitoring, counseling and education to help you take care of your own health.
New in 2011 – The Affordable Care Act makes many improvements to Medicare. If you have Original Medicare, you will now be able to get a yearly “Wellness” visit and many preventive services for free. Whether it’s online, in person or on the phone, Medicare is committed to helping people get the information they need to make smart choices about their Medicare benefits.
MyMedicare.gov – Visit online to get direct access to your preventive health information—24 hours a day, every day. You can track your preventive services, get a two-year calendar of the Medicare-covered tests and screenings, 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.
Medicare covers both preventive services, and other services that help keep certain illnesses from getting worse. The services are covered if you have Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance). However, the amount you pay for these services varies depending on whether you get your Medicare benefits through Original Medicare (sometimes called fee-for-service) or through a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO). If you get your health care coverage through a Medicare Advantage Plan, call your plan for more information.
Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is October 15 – December 7, 2011. Take the opportunity to review your current coverage and make sure it is what is best for you. For more information or to have a Medicare check-up call the Hawai‘i Sage PLUS program (SHIP) at 1-888-875-9229 or go to our Web site at www.hawaiiship.org for upcoming events. We would love to see you! Remember volunteering does the heart good . . . call us for opportunities.
You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or visit www.medicare.gov for the most current Medicare information. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.