Many doctors and health care professionals stress the importance of taking care of the "whole you." This means taking charge of your physical, mental, and social health. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer wellness benefits that can help you do just that. Every plan is different, but here are a few Medicare Advantage benefits that can boost your whole health.
1. Fitness and gym memberships
Many Medicare Advantage plans offer fitness programs. You can get access to gyms and exercise classes across the country. Some programs even include yoga and dance. It all depends on which plan you choose. Having a fitness benefit as part of your health plan can save you money because you don't have to buy a gym membership separately.
2. Healthy lifestyle coaching programs
Want to quit smoking? Lose weight? Sleep more soundly? Manage stress better? Check and see if your Medicare Advantage plan offers a healthy lifestyle coaching program. You can work with nurses, dietitians, and wellness coaches to reach your health goals — big or small. Sometimes all it takes is a support system to help you make the changes you want.
3. 24-hour nurse lines
Getting in to see your doctor can take time, and sometimes you just need a quick answer to a minor health question. Or, maybe your concern can't wait until you see your doctor. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer you access to a 24-hour nurse line. You can talk to registered nurses day or night to get help with understanding your symptoms, managing chronic conditions, navigating the health care system, and more.
4. In-home health assessments
Some Medicare Advantage plans offer in-home health assessments. If you choose to participate, a licensed health care professional will come to your home to review your health needs and do a home safety assessment. They'll also review your medicines and ask about your medical history. During the visit, the licensed health care professional may recommend services to support you on your health journey.
5. Acupuncture and chiropractic services
Holistic therapies are a key part of preventive care. That's why some Medicare Advantage plans may cover acupuncture and chiropractic care. Many seniors have turned to acupuncture to help treat migraines, back pain, nausea, hot flashes, and other ailments. Make sure you check your plan to see if alternative therapies are covered.
Choosing a Medicare Advantage plan with wellness benefits can really help boost your health. That means fewer trips to the doctor and less money spent on medical bills. So when you're shopping for a Medicare plan, remember to check if the plan has benefits that go beyond regular health care.
Amy Capomaccio is a health care writer at Aetna with experience in senior wellness, Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial health care. When she's not practicing new mindfulness techniques, Amy is spending time outdoors and traveling. Amy hails from Wakefield, MA and has a degree in Advertising and Public Relations from the University of Tampa.