Healthy Senior: Taking Control of Your Medical Situation3 months, 3 weeks ago
Posted on Feb 03, 2023, 12 p.m.
As a senior citizen, you’ll want to get the best deal on your healthcare, but with so much complex jargon, legality, and other stipulations, navigating the options can feel confusing. In this article, we are providing you with a few key insights and trying to break down some of the barriers between you and a healthier, cheaper future.
If you want to take control of your medical situation, the first step is to learn about the various forms and variations of health insurance. Depending on where you are, your financial situation, and the provider (whether an individual policy, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.), plans can vary in terms of their premiums, deductibles, copayments, etc. Learning about the forms they might take may help you to identify a cheaper option.
You should also try to familiarize yourself with the terminology used within the health insurance sector so that you can spot any out-of-pocket fees within contracts. You may find that unseen factors can affect your health insurance costs, and being able to identify these before selecting a plan can save you a lot of money.
Although healthcare providers keep a history of your medical records, there are advantages to maintaining these yourself. By doing so, you can be certain that details are entirely accurate and you will be able to share these with personal caregivers or in an emergency. Verywell Health notes that you can request your medical record from a healthcare provider via their website or, if this option is not available, by calling in and speaking to their administrator. If you should find any discrepancies on their file, make sure to discuss these directly with your physician.
Once you have obtained your medical records, you then have the task of organizing and maintaining them. Thankfully, with PDF creators and editors, there are plenty of free online tools that can help you to keep text files and images (such as x-rays or medical images) on a single file. Simply upload the images from your device, merge them, and download them. A PDF also lets you sign documents online so there’s no need for bringing documents into the doctor’s office or emailing them.
Learning how to review medical bills can help you to spot overcharges, and double-billing, as well as being able to keep an eye on dates to ensure everything is accurate. You should receive a medical bill after receiving care at a health facility - this document can vary in appearance but should always feature the services that you have received, dates, and costs (both individual and total). To ensure that these are listed correctly, compare them against your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) and against typical healthcare costs to ensure they are comparatively fair; there are organizations that can help you with this.
Learning to navigate healthcare is important but the best way to keep costs down is to avoid them altogether. Sometimes, a change in diet or exercise regime is all you need to alleviate symptoms or prevent illness. Switching to fresh food cooking, for example, is a surefire way to improve your mood and energy levels throughout the week. In addition to this, you could take up a form of light exercise - Tai Chi is popular amongst seniors throughout Asia and holds far-reaching medical benefits. Or, if you spend much of the day working, even a quick walk at lunch can prove surprisingly effective.
Another aspect of your lifestyle that can matter to your medical health is the setting in which you live. Eldercare Directory points out that senior living facilities often provide skilled nursing round-the-clock to meet your needs. If you are considering a nursing home, just be sure to read reviews in your area and research costs, payment options, and detailed reports.
Healthcare can prove to be endlessly complicated, and the more confused you are, the more you tend to pay. It’s important, therefore, to take the initiative and ensure you understand your options through and through. With the right know-how, you’ll be well on your way to a cheaper, fitter future.
WorldHealth.net is the information portal of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M), dedicated to technology to detect, prevent, and treat aging-related diseases and to promote research to optimize the human aging process. Contact us today to learn more!
This article was written for WHN by Scott Sanders who is the creator of Cancer Well, which provides resources and support for anyone who has been affected by any form of cancer. He is also the author of the book Put Yourself First: A Guide to Self-care and Spiritual Wellness During and After Cancer Treatment.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of WHN/A4M. Any content provided by guest authors is of their own opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.
Content may be edited for style and length.
References/Sources/Materials provided by: