The best way to stay healthy is to live a healthy lifestyle and prevent disease. Sounds simple enough. And if you’re 65 or turning 65 soon, Medicare can help. You might not realize Medicare covers many preventive services to keep you healthy, including exams, shots, lab tests, and screenings as well as programs for health monitoring and counseling and education to help you manage and improve your own health.
“I think it aligns perfectly with lifestyle medicine and value-based care in general,” says New Tampa Millennium Physician Group Family Medicine Physician Jennifer Wetherington, MD. “Our ultimate goal with both is to keep people as healthy as possible.”
A family medicine physician first, but also a lifestyle medicine physician, Dr. Wetherington says healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy body weight, getting enough sleep, limiting stress, and not smoking all profoundly affect health.
“We try to get to the root cause of disease. And so often with many of these chronic illnesses, lifestyle choices are at the root.”
Depending on the Medicare plan you’re enrolled in, screenings for conditions like osteoporosis and colon cancer as well as smoking cessation programs and even depression and mental health screenings may be available at low-to-no cost.
“Don’t just make sure you’re getting your annual exam but check in with your doctor several times a year. We’re much better equipped to deal with things when they’re small problems. Then your chance of living a longer, healthier, more fulfilling life is greatly improved.”
Be sure to talk to your healthcare and insurance provider to find out which preventive services are right for you and how often you need them.
Jennifer Wetherington, MD
10311 Cross Creek Blvd, Suite BC&D
Tampa, FL 33647