10 Tips for Social Distancing – Tip Number 1
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It’s difficult to detect high blood pressure. High blood pressure (also called “hypertension”) usually doesn’t have any warning signs until it causes more serious health issues, like heart attack and heart disease, stroke, eye damage, kidney disease, and vascular dementia.
Preventing & managing high blood pressure
While there are certain risk factors for high blood pressure that you can’t control, like age and family history, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent and manage high blood pressure.
- Eat a healthy diet that’s low in salt and alcohol
- Exercise regularly and manage stress
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Don’t smoke
Here’s how Medicare can help
May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month. Learn more about preventing and managing high blood pressure at CDC.gov.
Complications from hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver caused by a virus, kill nearly 1.4 million people worldwide every year.
Hepatitis is contagious. The Hepatitis B virus spreads through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person. Viral hepatitis transmission happens when people come in contact with a contaminated object, like a used needle, where the virus can live for up to 7 days. Hepatitis B can range from being a mild illness, lasting a few weeks to a serious long-term illness that can lead to liver disease or liver cancer.
Fortunately, Medicare can help keep you protected from Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C, which are the most common types of viral hepatitis strains in the United States:
- Generally, Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) covers Hepatitis A shots when medically necessary.
- Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers Hepatitis B shots, which are usually given as a series of 3 shots over a 6-month period (you need all 3 shots for complete protection).
- Medicare covers a one-time Hepatitis C screening test if your primary care doctor or practitioner orders it and you meet one of these conditions:
- You’re at high risk because you have a current or past history of illicit injection drug use.
- You had a blood transfusion before 1992.
- You were born between 1945 and 1965.
May is Hepatitis Awareness Month. Find out more about viral hepatitis prevention and treatment.
If you’re among the 7.5 million people in the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program, Medicare providers aren’t allowed to bill you for services and items Medicare covers, including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. If a provider asks you to pay, that’s against the law.
If you get a bill for these charges:
- Tell your provider or the debt collector that you’re in the QMB Program and can’t be charged for Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. If you’ve already made payments on a bill for services and items Medicare covers, you have the right to a refund.
Note: To make sure your provider knows you’re in the QMB Program, show both your Medicare and Medicaid or QMB card each time you get care. You can also give your provider a copy of your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN). Your MSN will show you’re in the QMB Program and shouldn’t be billed. Log in to your MyMedicare.gov account at any time to view your MSN or sign up to get your MSNs electronically.
- If your provider won’t stop billing you, call us at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048. We can confirm that you’re in the QMB Program. We can also ask your provider to stop billing you, and refund any payments you’ve already made.
- If you have a problem with a debt collector, you can send a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) online or call the CFPB toll-free at (855) 411-2372. TTY users can call (855) 729-2372. CFPB will forward your complaint to the debt collection company and work to get you a response from them.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services (CMS) wants to remind people with Medicare that the program covers mental health services to support them
CMS has announced the release the 2018 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) Early Look Data Brief. This Early Look Data Brief presents key preliminary estimates relevant to the community-dwelling Medicare population in advance of the upcoming MCBS 2018 Survey File LDS release anticipated in June 2020.
Kaiser Family Health Reports Fearful Seniors Are Changing Their Living Wills
Medigap Life Salutes Older Americans Month – May 2020