8 Easy Health and Finance Resolutions for Seniors in the New Year
Let’s face it. Most of us make a crazy resolution (lose 50 pounds!) and ditch it a couple weeks later.
Instead of promising to double our savings account or never eat a crumb of chocolate for the next 12 months (never gonna happen), we decided to put together 8 New Year’s Resolutions that can have a huge impact on your health and finances.
All 8 resolutions are easy and simple to achieve. Let’s dig into it!
1. Get Your Free Annual Wellness Exam
Medicare pays for one free wellness exam each year. You don’t have to pay the coinsurance or deductible for this exam either.
During the exam, your doctor will create a full prevention plan. You can expect a health assessment, a medical and family history overview, a checklist for preventive screenings, and routine health checks like blood pressure and your weight.
If you’re brand new to Medicare, you actually get a free “Welcome to Medicare” visit, so you should take advantage of it!
This is a pain-free way to keep up with your health and see your doctor each year. Plus, it’s free!
2. Do Your Annual Medicare Supplement Review
Once you have your Medicare Supplement, it’s important to do a review with your agent each year. You’re mainly looking at the price of your plan, and you’ll compare it to the other carriers on the market.
Even if you find you still have the competitive rate, you can have some peace of mind that your plan is still the best plan.
If there are better rates on the market, you can simply switch carriers and start experiencing the savings!
If you don’t know who your agent is, our staff here at Medicare Allies is happy to review your supplement for you. We only need some basic information about your policy, such as the carrier and your monthly premium.
3. Walk 30 Minutes Per Day
Going to the gym, jogging, and lifting weights can be a bit of a drag. And if you have joint issues, you may not be able to get much exercise at all!
The good news is that most of us can handle a short walk, and the results from walking each day will blow your mind.
Researchers have found that just 30 minutes of walking per day can:
- Improve your mood
- Spark creativity
- Lose belly fat (even if your weight on the scale doesn’t move)
- Significantly decrease chance of (expensive!) chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and stroke
- Prevent varicose veins
- Keep your bathroom visits more “regular” (improved gastric mobility)
Once you start, you’ll realize how easy it is. Try listening to a podcast, your favorite radio station, or an audiobook while walking. The time goes by faster, and your body will thank you!
4. Do Your Annual Life Insurance Review
We all know how important life insurance is, but it’s just as important to do an annual review.
If you have life insurance that plays into the stock market, it’s vital that you sit down with your agent and review the policy’s success over the last year.
And even if your policy is straight-forward, it’s still important to talk with your agent. You’ll not only have the chance to get a refresher on what you have, but you’ll be able to assess the policy and make sure it’s still the right fit.
This is also a great time to make any changes, like a new beneficiary or a change of address.
If you don’t know who your agent is, our staff here at Medicare Allies is happy to review your policy for you. All we need is your last statement!
5. Take Advantage of Medicare’s Weight Loss Coverage
If your New Year’s Resolution has been to lose weight… for a few years… it may be time to look into Medicare’s weight loss coverage options.
While Medicare won’t cover weight loss services and programs for everyone, you might qualify under certain conditions.
For example, if weight loss is a necessary part of treatment for diseases like diabetes, hypothyroidism, and cardiovascular disease (among many others), Medicare will help pay for the program.
Medicare will also help pay if the doctor tells you to lose weight before a surgery in order to reduce complications.
The type of services and programs that Medicare helps pay for are:
- Initial assessment of your eating and activity habits
- Health counseling
- Dieting and exercise education
- Follow-up visits to monitor your diet and weight loss progress
- Up to three hours of individual counseling services the first year, and two hours each year after that
Even if Medicare won’t help pay for your weight loss journey, you can still work towards a healthier new year!
6. Get Your Free, Personalized Medicare Planner
When it comes to aging, most of us aren’t constantly aware of the health risks.
We hear about heart disease and cancer, but do we think about how likely it is to happen to us?
That’s the idea behind the personalized Medicare Planner.
You get your own agent, and he or she will talk with you about your family and medical history as well your own concerns and questions.
You’ll walk away with a personalized plan with an expert’s recommendations on what kinds of coverage you need the most, and the coverage you can safely ignore.
None of us want to be surprised with a $150,000 bill from an unexpected heart attack – yes, we’ve seen this happen! – so prepare for the new year with a free, personalized Medicare Planner.
7. Take Advantage of Medicare’s Preventive Screenings
Medicare Part B actually helps cover a wide range of preventive screenings.
These screenings include:
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening (must get referral from doctor)
- Alcohol misuse screenings & counseling
- Bone mass measurements (bone density)
- Cardiovascular disease screenings
- Cardiovascular disease (behavioral therapy)
- Cervical & vaginal cancer screening
- Colorectal cancer screenings
- Depression screenings
- Diabetes screenings
- Diabetes self-management training
- EKG screening
- Glaucoma tests
- Hepatitis C screening test
- HIV screening
- Lung cancer screening
- Mammograms (screening)
- Nutrition therapy services
- Obesity screenings & counseling
- Prostate cancer screenings
- Sexually transmitted infections screening & counseling
If you’re concerned about one of these conditions and want to be screened, ask your doctor! Medicare Part B will cover about 80%, and if you have a Medicare Supplement, you’ll be covered 100%.
Start off your new year with some peace of mind!
8. Make Plans for the End of Life
None of us like talking about this.
But we all know that life begins, and life will eventually end.
It’s never too late to plan for the end of life. It’s advised that adults make these plans as soon as they can – even as early as age 18! – but if you haven’t done it yet, now is the time to get it over with.
Make sure your will is in place, check that your funeral and end-of-life wishes are written down, and make sure you have a plan for your funeral bills.
There is a special insurance policy called Final Expense, and this can pay for your future funeral.
Funerals are very expensive – the current cost is about $8,000. However, the cost of funerals are expected to double in the next 20 years, so it’s important to plan ahead.
Final expense insurance is generally very inexpensive to have, so it’s important to ask your agent if you’re covered.
Our team of dedicated, licensed agents can help you as little or as much as you need. Whether it’s answering a few questions about Medicare or creating a comprehensive Medicare Planner with you, we are your Medicare Allies.