5 things to check off your health care list this year

With everything else that we have going on in our lives, it may be easy to put off appointments for preventive screenings, check-ups and immunizations. But as we get older, these visits become even more important — and many of them come at no additional cost under your Medicare plan.

For example, did you know that Medicare covers an annual wellness visit at no additional cost to you? Flu and pneumonia vaccines are also covered with a $0 copay. 

Make it a priority to add the following appointments to your 2024 calendar. Your long-term health may thank you.

1. Annual wellness visit

There is no additional charge under Medicare for your wellness visit; which, unlike a standard head-to-toe physical, is focused on preventive care, health screenings and wellness planning.

2. Vaccinations

If you aren’t fully up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines, including an updated bivalent booster, consider scheduling an appointment as soon as possible.

For shingles, a vaccination is one of the best ways to protect against the disease. Two doses are recommended for those 50 and older.

The flu shot usually becomes available in August. It’s important to receive your flu shot each year, especially with the current flu season being more severe in some parts of the country than previous years. This can also be administered at the same time as your COVID-19 vaccine or booster.

An RSV vaccine might also be a good choice if you are over 60. It’s important to talk to your health care provider about this, especially if you have certain risk factors, such as cardiopulmonary disease, kidney disorders, or liver disorders – or if you live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility.

Finally, a pneumococcal vaccine, which can help prevent pneumonia, is recommended for most adults 65 years and older. This can be also paired with a flu shot.

3. Preventive screenings and specialists

Visits for heart health, diabetes and other chronic conditions may be crucial to your overall wellness. Connect with your provider to find out which preventive screenings you may need, too. This might include a mammogram, a colonoscopy and more. 

4. Dental exam

A dental exam is an important part of oral and overall health. The American Dental Association recommends regular dental visits.

5. Eye exam

You should consider having an eye exam every year. Not only can it help with how well you can see, but it may also help detect issues, like glaucoma.

If you need more help in deciding how to navigate these appointments, ask your provider how to most efficiently and effectively schedule these visits. Checking off these items can help ensure that you stay as healthy as possible for all of the other to-dos on your calendar.

Learn how UnitedHealthcare Medicare plans are set up to help you access the care you need by visiting UHCMedicareHealthPlans.com.

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