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.
For over three decades, Glenn K. Tippy and his hardworking staff at GBW Insurance (short for Gerrity, Baker, Williams, Inc.) have strived to protect homes, businesses, automobiles, and even people themselves through quality insurance plans. We caught up with Mr. Tippy to discuss his personal experiences — both good and bad — in operating a small business. What’s it like running a smaller, local business compared to, say, some kind of larger corporate entity? I had spent much of my career running parts of large insurance companies or all of a midsize insurance company. Owning a local or regional business, where you could see the results of working with people, where you would know how the work actually helped people, turned out to be much more important. In a large corporation, there are layers and layers of helpers. In a small business, if the toilet breaks down, either the money to fix it comes out of your pocket or your fix it yourself; either way, you have to have a restroom for the employees. So you learn to do whatever it takes to succeed. Could you describe the best day you’ve ever had as a business owner? One of the days after Hurricane Sandy passed away. When I started answering client phone calls at 4 a.m. because our communication plan worked. When our insurance company partners were able to start taking claims because their disaster plans worked. When our staff members showed up, when they had no power or heat but they wanted to help our clients. When one of our employees slept in her car because she wasn’t sure she had enough gas to get back and forth from home to office, but didn’t tell me because she didn’t want me to order her to stay home — everyone was being paid whether they showed up or not. Our systems worked, and things got better every day for our staff and for our clients. That’s an incredible story! What would you say to aspiring business owners who want to have those same kinds of experiences? Do you have a burning desire to do this? Don’t go if you just think it would be nice to be your own boss. Are you willing to keep going if it takes twice as much work as you expect. Don’t go if you can’t keep going when things are tough. If you can do things better than others and know why someone will pay for that, if you can take bad news but planned for it or are tough enough to fight through, then your own business can make you happier and wealthier than laboring in someone else’s business. GBW Insurance is located at 3 Goldmine Road in Flanders, N.J. You can learn more about their services at www.GBWinsurance.com, by emailing info@GBWmail.com or by calling (973)426-1500.