Navigating Your Health Over 65

(Family Features) Taking care of your health, especially over age 65, requires an understanding of your personal needs. Proper medical care isn’t one-size-fits-all, so finding the right services and providers may take some research and thoughtful consideration as it relates to your unique circumstances.

Consider these tips from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to find the right care for you:

Stay on top of your health. An important part of managing your health is being aware of any current medical concerns or those that might affect you in the near future. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of your health care needs – like preventive services that could help identify any issues early. Arming yourself with knowledge can help you be better prepared to make decisions about the type of doctors or health care providers you need and how they work with your health insurance.

Shop around. Choosing a health care provider can be time consuming and confusing. Medicare.gov makes it easy to find and compare providers like hospitals, home health agencies, doctors, nursing homes and other health care services in your area that accept Medicare. On your laptop, tablet or mobile device, enter your location to search for local health care providers and services. A clean and uniform design makes it easy to review and compare providers.

Know what to look for. It’s important to understand everything you’re considering when searching for care for yourself or a loved one. Search filters allow you to personalize your search based on what’s most important to you, like services offered, quality ratings, inspection reports and doctor affiliations. Other features include suggested next steps and checklists to help choose the best provider for you. Knowing what providers accept Medicare can also give you peace of mind.

Plan ahead. Don’t put off researching your health care provider options. When you’re feeling well is typically the best time to consider your health care needs. With a clear mind, you’ll be able to thoroughly explore pros and cons about providers and facilities and get the information you need to find the best fit for you, such as practice locations, specialties, contact information and more. You can also save your favorite health care providers to refer to later when you’re logged into your online Medicare account.

Make your wishes known. Whether you’re planning ahead for yourself or finding care for a loved one, it’s important to share your preferences with others who are part of your care team. This might include sharing which doctors you like, what hospital you prefer or selecting a nursing home close to family and friends.

Planning for medical care can seem like a challenge. By keeping tabs on your health and using available tools to research your options and compare providers, like the resources at Medicare.gov/care-compare, you can create a plan that best fits your needs.

Paid for by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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