As More Baby Boomers Turn to Medicare, Helpful Tips

Well, the “leading edge” of our boomer generation crossed over the line a while ago already … that “line” is the age-line that earns you medical healthcare coverage from the US Government! And more boomers are crossing over every day of the week, with most of the rest of us not all that far away ourselves. So we think it might be helpful go give you some tips — from one company that deals with a lot of us, Walgreens — on “Making The Most of Medicare.”

If you’re one of the 30 million Americans with a new Medicare card, you may take a healthy interest in how best to benefit from it.

One of the first and most important things to consider now that your new plan is in effect is prescription drug coverage. Perhaps the best way to save on medication costs is to utilize a pharmacy that’s within your Part D plan’s preferred network. Walgreens, for example, is a part of preferred networks with some of the nation’s largest plans, such as Coventry, Humana, SmartD Rx and UnitedHealthcare.

PharmacyThe benefit to beneficiaries is not only convenience, but cost savings. By using a preferred network pharmacy, you can recognize significant savings on prescription co-pays and medication expenditures.

It’s also important to understand the preventive health services you may need, what’s covered by Medicare and where you can go for these and other services. Immunizations, health tests and annual medication and plan reviews are all available at your local Walgreens, so talk with your pharmacist or plan provider if you have questions on these or other services.

If you take multiple medications, many Medicare Part D plans will cover face-to-face annual checkups as well. Your pharmacist will review all your medications, vitamins and supplements, see if there are lower-cost alternatives and make sure you’re taking everything in the right way to get the best possible results. The pharmacist can then call your doctor to discuss any recommended changes, and you’ll receive a Medication Action Plan that you can share with your doctor.

Medicare covers an annual wellness visit at your doctor’s office, or you can visit Take Care Clinics, which are located at select Walgreens. You’ll get a personalized plan to help manage your health and help you make the most informed decisions with no out-of-pocket costs.

Medicare Wellness benefits provide discounts on medications and services including immunizations, screenings for a number of common conditions, as well as education and counseling to encourage wellness and prevent disease. However, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, only 6.5 percent of eligible seniors have utilized this benefit. That’s where your pharmacist can be a great resource to help understand what services are covered.

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