Like most of my clients, you may have been on Medicare for awhile. You know the “ins and outs” of what Medicare covers, and you’ve done your research on what prescription drug plan will best cover your diabetic medications. You’re in a good spot, right? Well, there are some benefits offered to a diabetic on Medicare that you may not know exist. Here are six of them:
1. Self-Management Training
My mom is a very healthy 83 year old who just happens to be a diabetic. I spend a lot of time with her, and one of the reasons why I think she is so healthy is that she has taken a lot of time to learn about diabetes and how to best manage it. Did you know that as a Medicare recipient, there is training available to help with just that? This benefit is taught by an educated health care professional and will teach you how to improve blood glucose levels, manage complications, and take medications effectively. It also provides follow up sessions to keep you aware of new and improved ways of dealing with the disease. Isn’t this a great benefit? After all, you are your first line of defense in keeping your condition in check!
2. Medical Nutrition Therapy
In specializing in working with clients on Medicare who have diabetes, I can attest to the importance that diet has in the regulation of the disease. I had a client in the Traverse City area who was as you could say, “as skinny as a string bean.” Because she was far from overweight, she never gave a thought to nutritional therapy. However, this service isn’t merely about losing weight, it is about how the foods we eat, and when we eat them, can have a major impact on controlling blood sugar levels. Medicare offers these classes to help you learn the ins and outs of how your diet can help, and hurt your condition.
3. Annual Wellness Visit
Remember when you turned 65 and had your “Welcome To Medicare!” visit with your primary care physician? Well, as a diabetic on Medicare, you now are eligible for a yearly visit that focuses solely on managing your diabetes. Your doctor can spend the time needed to discuss what issues you may be having, what goals you are working towards, and how any changes in medication could be beneficial to you. This visit is free of charge if your doctor accepts Medicare assignment.
4. Free Foot Exams/ Free shoes!
Who wouldn’t like a free pair of shoes? There can be certain complications when you are diabetic, and one of them is neuropathy, or nerve damage of the feet. Not only can this be painful in itself, but it can cause further complications if you’re feet are not well taken care of. Often times this care calls for special footwear. I am sure you may be envisioning your parents or grandparents’ orthopedic shoes, but don’t despair! Today’s shoes are quite stylish! No one would ever know my mom’s shoes are “diabetic.”
5. Glaucoma Tests
You may be aware that, as a diabetic, you can have a free retinopathy test annually. You may not know that you are entitled to a free glaucoma test as well. As a diabetic, you are much more susceptible to glaucoma than your non-diabetic counterparts. An ophthalmologist may complete the test, and as long as he or she accepts Medicare assignment, the procedure will be covered under Part B of Medicare.
6. Pneumococcal Vaccine
Most folks know that Medicare covers the flu shot for all of its recipients, but did you know how important it is for YOU to get one? When you have diabetes, you have a harder time fighting off the flu virus. Also, when you are sick with the flu, it can affect your eating habits and cause extra stress on your body which can affect your blood sugar levels. Diabetics are much more likely to experience serious health complications due to the flu virus. Having the free vaccine is one way to protect yourself!
A diagnosis of diabetes is by far less devastating than it used to be. This is true because of all of the knowledge and management techniques that are now available to use to keep the disease in check. Now that you are on Medicare, use the six less known benefits to live a long and healthy life!
If you would like further information on planning for or reevaluating your retirement, or simply want to chat, give us a call at our local Traverse City office at 231-421-7391.
Marc Hudson, Tim Alfieri, and Sara Hornick, investment advisor representatives of, and securities and advisory services are offered through, USA Financial Securities Corp., Member FINRA/SIPC. A Registered Investment Advisor located at 6020 E. Fulton St., Ada, MI 49301. Hudson Wealth Management is not affiliated with USA Financial Securities.