From the government’s perspective, dying before your 65th birthday will save them money? Sounds crazy, but if you think about it from their perspective, the perfect citizen will work their entire life paying into both the social security and Medicare system and die without ever using a penny of either. With that being the case, do you really think that the health care system of the future will be designed to help you live longer? My guess would be no. Now more than ever, it is important that you are proactive when it comes to your and your family’s health care.
To be proactive, you need to:
Receive preventative care as available for your age and gender.
One positive result of the health care changes is that preventative care is now covered at 100%. Procedures that are considered preventative have been expanded to include diagnostic procedures such as colonoscopies. Don’t forget that most primary care providers do very little when it comes to your hearing or eyes, so you need to have preventative screenings for those as well.
If something doesn’t feel right, don’t wait, go get it checked out.
It is common for all of us to self-diagnose or just feel that it is all part of getting older. We search WebMD looking to diagnose our potential problem. This can be a costly mistake that is easily avoidable. If something doesn’t feel right, you need to get it checked out by a trained professional.
Keep your own medical records and track lab results.
Most people have never thought of requesting and/or keeping their medical records. Not only should you request and keep a copy, I suggest creating a spreadsheet to track lab results. Your lab results may fall within normal ranges, so the provider will give the results little, if any, consideration. However, if you can show that over a period of time results have moved from mid to low range, you may assist in early detections of problems such as low thyroid and testosterone.
Don’t rely on providers to follow up with you.
Don’t rely on providers to follow up with you, especially if you are assisting an elderly family member who can easily forget instructions. It is not uncommon for a provider to prescribe medications such as Coumadin and the associated follow up lab work not be performed. The result of which can be deadly.
The reality is that most people do a better job of keeping up with service work on their car than they do with medical care for themselves. We all need to do a better job of seeking preventative health care versus the current sick care approach. Regardless of the health care system of the future, it is up to you to take these recommended steps to increase your odds of living beyond age 65 and longer.
Phillip A. Ketron, MBA, CSA, NCG