Your healthcare needs will change over time, and as you approach retirement your health will likely be something you think about more often.

Having a management plan for your health in your senior years can be beneficial. If you or someone you care about is getting ready for retirement, here are our top tips to get you started:

Talk to Your Doctor

If you have any health concerns you should always seek the advice of a professional. We often hear of “Doctor Google“, but the internet won’t give you accurate, personalized information and could lead to unnecessary panic.

As a senior, you may need preventative treatments, checkups, and tests to ensure you are in good health. Additionally, you may have an existing condition that requires ongoing care. It is important that you have a regular doctor who you can trust to give you consistent advice and treatment. He or she will be able to refer you to any specialists as needed.

Sign Up for Medicare

For most U.S. citizens who are 65 years old or older, the government offers affordable health insurance called Medicare. There are two main parts: Part A and Part B. This Original Medicare reduces the expense of hospital stays and numerous other routine healthcare services.

Starting three months before your 65th birthday, a 7-month application window begins. The money you will save on medical expenses will be well worth the effort of signing up.

Don’t Forget Dental

Original Medicare gives you basic coverage but there are a few key areas it misses. There is the option to choose a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan from a private, Medicare-approved insurance company, which gives you a wider range of services and more choice.

For example, Medicare dental insurance can be included in your Part C plan. This could save you a significant amount of money as dental care can be expensive, especially in your senior years. If you are unhappy with the basic Medicare Part A and Part B, it is worth signing up for Part C with a reputable and trusted company such as Anthem. You will get one single bill and a wider range of benefits.

Consider Part D

If you are eligible for Original Medicare it is a smart idea to add on Part D. This will often be included in Part C, or it can be an optional extra with Medicare Part A and Part B.

Part D reduces the cost of prescription drugs, and regardless of whether you take medication on a regular basis or only occasionally, this is recommended. This is an investment that will pay for itself over time.

Managing Your Healthcare Throughout Retirement

When you retire you should make sure you have a health maintenance plan. An effective plan will include a trusted doctor and the right insurance for your circumstances. Most U.S. citizens 65 years old or older will be eligible for Medicare, and this will cover the basics.

If you feel as though you want a more comprehensive healthcare plan you may like to consider a Medicare Advantage plan, which often includes dental, vision, and hearing aids. You will likely need prescription drugs sometime in the future, and having Part D will give you peace of mind that you are covered in case you ever need it.

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