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The following is a guest post from Nicole Duritz, Vice President, Health, AARP Education & Outreach

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Staying Healthy Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

Take Advantage of Medicare’s Preventive Benefits

By Nicole Duritz, Vice President, Health, AARP Education & Outreach

“Stay away from sugar and salt.”

“Get moving.”

“Do this, don’t do that.”

Ever feel bombarded by all of the health tips out there? I know I have sometimes. But taking care of your health does not need to be complicated. One of the easiest ways to stay healthy is to team up with your doctor and be sure you get the right vaccines and screenings that can help you detect and prevent illness.

Start by scheduling a doctor’s visit. The one-time “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit is free for patients whose doctors accept Medicare. Just be sure to schedule your appointment within the first twelve months of your Medicare Part B enrollment. If you’re not new to Medicare, you, too, can schedule time to talk to your doctor during a “Medicare Yearly Wellness” visit.

At either of these appointments you can find out what vaccines and screenings you need, when you need them, and how frequently. And the good news is that with the changes in the health care law, now your preventive benefits are free.

Just keep in mind that your Medicare co-payment may vary depending on the type of screening and if treatment is provided. For example, if your doctor finds a benign growth during your colorectal cancer screening, he or she may remove it at that time and you may need to pay the Medicare co-payment for this extra procedure. But I’m sure you would agree that paying a copayment today, is a good investment in a healthier you tomorrow.

If you have questions about Medicare, check out AARP’s free webinar on April 19 at 2pm, Eastern. It will describe the new Medicare provisions and benefits you are eligible for. Plus, you can ask the experts your questions.

Photo credit: 401Kcalculator

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