Diabetes can have a drastic effect on your life and your health insurance. In this series, we will take a closer look at this disease and the effect it can have on you, whether you are a person living on Medicare or you are attempting to acquire life insurance.
In the first part of this series, we will examine specifically the disease itself.
What Is Diabetes? Diabetes is a disease that prevents your body from properly handling glucose, or blood sugar. While glucose is an important energy source, especially for the brain, it can cause problems when left unchecked.
There are two main types of diabetes. Type one happens for an unknown reason, although it is largely thought to be based on genetic susceptibility. The second type of diabetes, aptly named type two, is the result of poor health factors, diet, as well as genetics.
In both cases, the body is no longer able to produce enough insulin to properly regulate glucose levels. Insulin, a natural hormone, is either no longer being produced in adequate amounts (type one), or the body has developed an immunity to insulin, which means you need an amount far above what your body can produce in order to regulate glucose (type two).
What Is Prediabetes? Prediabetes, which tends to produce only type two diabetes, occurs when your body begins to acquire a tolerance to insulin. Your body then ramps up production of insulin to combat your increasing tolerance.
The key distinction here is that your body can recover from prediabetes. With the proper healthy lifestyle and preventative health services, you can keep prediabetes from escalating to the point of no return. Currently, there is no cure for diabetes, which means you will require lifelong treatment to keep the condition under control.
How Can You Prevent Diabetes? Small steps can make a huge difference if you have been diagnosed with prediabetes. Incorporating small, healthy habits into your lifestyle can help stall or even reverse the development of your body’s insulin immunity. Going for a few walks per week and replacing sugary treats with fiber rich fruits and vegetables can have a tremendous impact.
Diabetes is a widespread problem, affecting the lives of millions of Americans. It has severe consequences for your health, your lifestyle, and your medical and life insurance coverage and payments. In the next installment of this three part series, we will examine the intersection of diabetes and Medicare.
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes,” July 2017
- The Mayo Clinic, July 2014
How to enroll for Medicare
Medicare was first introduced in 1966 to provide health insurance for seniors. People over the age of 65 can enroll during the Medicare Fall Open Enrollment between October 15 to December 7. Their insurance coverage will begin from January 1. Sometimes people are signed up automatically when the
Preventative Health Care is one of the most important services for people over 65, and one of the best tools offered by Medicare. This is, at least in part, to help offset the extreme frequency with which Americans suffer from chronic conditions: According to the Commonwealth Fund, 87% of older Americans live with a chronic health condition, with 68% reporting at least two or more.
Preventative Health Services and Screening help to catch these ailments in their infancy in order to reduce their effect and eventual cost, both to the person suffering from the disease and on the Medicare system at large, and ease the burden of managing health care expenses.
In the first post in this four-part series, we discussed how Medicare Plan B health insurance covers all the costs associated with most of the more common preventative screenings and services, from diabetes to depression. In this second installment, we will be talking specifically about the types of preventative services that are recommended for men over 65.
Most men should be well verse with colonoscopy exams and other colorectal screening exams by the time they enroll in Medicare, as the starting age should be at the latest 50, these tests become increasingly important as you age. That is because a 70-year-old is almost three times as likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer than a 50-year-old. While these exams have been the subject of sitcom jokes for decades, they remain the best way to identify precancerous polyps or early stages of cancer.
Like colorectal exams, the prostate exams should begin well before you have reach Medicare aid, but here, the increased risk as you age is even greater. Between age 50 and 70, the chance of getting prostate cancer in the next ten years more than triples! There are a number of different ways to check for prostate cancer, including prostate specific antigen blood tests and digital rectal exams. Depending on the result of the first two tests, there may need to be a follow up screening.
While these two screening services are specifically more applicable for men, they should also engage in the more general types of screening. In our next installment we will discuss the tests specifically relevant for women.
No matter who you are, cancer is a difficult experience. Whether you are struggling with it yourself, or a loved one has recently been diagnosed, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the deluge of information and advice that will come at you from all sides.
If you or your loved one is also reliant on Medicare, the process can be even more complicated. In the first two posts in this series, we talked about using Medicare to help finance you or your loved one’s fight against cancer (post one talked about original Medicare, post two focused on parts C and D).
In this final installment, we will discuss how both cancer care insurance and Medicare supplement insurance plans might help you.
Supplimental Insurance Plans (or Medigap)
Medigap can be a life saver for anyone living on a budget when diagnosed with cancer. While the premiums can be high, ranging from $100-$200, they offer you a lot more flexibility and tools to fight off your cancer.
Typically, they allow a much broader selection of medical facilities, instead of the small net that a Medicare Advance plan will offer. They also allow you to remain on your original Medicare A and B plan which can offer perks like better-regulated coverage.
Plan F is the most all-encompassing program currently offered. Even if the cost of the medicine is not covered by Part A or Part B, Plan F will cover them so long as they are Medicare approved.
It is important to note that Medigap policies will only cover one person. If you and your spouse want the same benefits, then you must enroll twice according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Cancer Care Insurance
While cancer car insurance is a newer form of insurance, it is specifically targeted to help reduce the astronomical costs associated with cancer treatment. These programs are slowly growing more and more popular as new statistics emerge that show as many as one-in-four men and one-in-five women die from cancer in the United States.
Unlike Medicare options, cancer care insurance also provides assistance with non-medical financial needs while you are undergoing treatment. These can range from child care to dietary support, and even assist you with housing and travel if you live far enough from your treatment center.
The main drawback to this type of insurance is that you would typically need to be enrolled before your diagnosis.
Cancer is by far the worst plague for the modern American. If you or a loved one suffer from this disease, it is important that you know your options. As we come to the close of this three-part series, hopefully, you are a little better equipped to handle your ailment.
Navigating Medicare can be notoriously difficult. Even learning what Medicare does and doesn’t cover can be difficult. But, unfortunately, this process is even more difficult when you or someone you love is dealing with something as serious as cancer.
In this three-part blog post, we will explore some of the best ways to make sure you and your loved ones will receive the care they need during this trying time.
Cancer Treatments and Original Medicare (Medicare A and B)
The most basic form of Medicare, comprised of parts A and B, will offer some support for the most basic needs of you or your loved one. Common treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy will be partially covered, although the amount you are expected to pay will vary depending on whether the procedure is performed inpatient or outpatient.
If you are undergoing radiation or chemotherapy as an inpatient procedure, then you will be covered by Medicare A once you have reached your deductible, although radiation might include a co-pay.
Medicare A is an excellent choice for many Americans, but it is not enough to cover a thorough cancer treatment on its own, as medicare A does not cover outpatient procedures or prescription drugs.
That is why many people pair it with Medicare B.
Medicare B is designed to help with the costs of outpatient procedures performed in a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office. Not only does this program cover outpatient chemotherapy and radiation therapy, it also covers a limited number of self-administered prescriptions, such as anti-nausea pills. Medicare Part B even covers certain types of cancer screening, like breast and prostate exams. This fact is particularly important given that a biennial breast exam has been shown to reduce the number of breast cancer-related deaths for women between ages 65 and 74, according to a 2013 study by The State of Aging and Health in America.
The downside with Medicare B is that it is more expensive than having only medicare A. In addition to a monthly fee, Medicare B also requires a deductible and a typical copayment of 20% the Medicare approved cost for a procedure or medicine. Like most Medicare supplement insurance plans, the so-called Medigap plans, the improved coverage will cost you.
Why Original Medicare May Not be Enough.
An effective cancer treatment requires a well-rounded approach involving a number of treatments and medicines. While Medicare A and B can help with a number of your healthcare costs, many of the prescription drugs that you will need may not be covered, leaving you responsible for the total cost.
In part two of this three part series, we will examine your options for Medicare supplement insurance, as well as cancer care insurance policies to help you decide what is the best insurance option to help you or your loved one’s fight against cancer.
- Affordable term life insurance
- Cancer insurance policy
- Medicare supplement insurance
- Short term health coverage
Regardless of whether or not you plan to retire early or not at al, it’s important to consider the potential need for additional health care coverage. When you contact a life insurance company, they can provide an overview of their available plans and assist you with choosing the right one for you.
According to The State of Aging and Health in America’s 2013 report, by 2030, there will be approximately 72 mi
Speeding Tickets Can Make You Pay Twice.
Everyone speeds at some point, some people everywhere they go. But getting pulled over and written a ticket is bad news on several counts. One, speeding tickets can get pricey depending on the location of the transgression. Secondly, when the dri