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
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.