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Focus on Preventative Measures: Medicare

On behalf of Humana, gold sponsor of the Vitality Revolution Podcast Series, Lori Hutson joins Suzanne. Lori is owner of LJ Hutson Insurance LLC in Washington state.

Vitality Revolution Podcast Series

Suzanne says, “I am so thrilled to be able to launch this brand new program: “The Vitality Revolution.” It’s how to think about your wellness — Vitality, the eight foundational principles of wellness. And each month here on Answers for Elders, we’re going to be focusing on two of the eight foundational principles. And this month will be on physical and emotional wellness.”

Lori describes an experience with her family that brought her to her current career. “I grew up on a farm, and my dad was out in the field morning to night, and I do not remember one time growing up that he was ever sick. And it was amazing. The only time he ever went to the doctor was to get stitches because he cut himself on a piece of equipment or something like that. And so when he retired, he didn’t go to the doctor. He went in because his leg was hurting, and he got diagnosed with cancer. By the time they found it, it was pancreatic cancer and gone into bone cancer. It was very serious at that point. And so they were telling me he doesn’t have insurance. I was in my 30s, not even thinking about Medicare, that wasn’t even on my radar. And so I opened up his wallet, there was a card in there and I said, yes, he does. He has it. He has Medicare. We’ll come to find out it was only Medicare part A. He never took his Medicare part B and he was 81 years old. I got thrown into the Medicare maze, and his treatment’s not being covered, and we had to sign up for Medicare. And I found a lady that helped me and I grabbed onto her like a lifeline. And so that’s what really got me interested in doing what I’m doing.”

Lori goes over the basics of what’s covered under various Medicare plans, and also mentions services that a lot of people aren’t aware are covered under Medicare. “I think a lot of people know your general test, that you can go in and have a flu shot, you can have pneumonia shot. Well, now the shingles vaccines and the DPAP, tetanus, those vaccines are all covered 100% now, that’s a Medicare mandate. Those injections were pretty expensive for people. So I think that’s one thing that people don’t realize. I always recommend to people, because of what happened to my dad, go in and get those general tests done.

“Then there are things. There’s more to diabetes management under Preventative that a lot of people don’t realize. And then cardiovascular, there’s some behavioral management on that. Depression screening, there’s a stop smoking program through your Preventative. You’ve got colorectal cancer screenings. And now most of the plans are covering those at 100%, whether it’s screening or it’s diagnostic. The other thing I want to touch on is the wellness visit, because the advantage plans will cover a physical and a wellness visit, and there is a difference. So if you’re going in and you have just original Medicare, you have a Welcome to Medicare physical, and that is a one-time thing. After that, Medicare doesn’t cover your physical every year, but they cover a wellness exam. A wellness visit is your planning session — they’ll ask when did you have your last colon screening? When did you have a bone density test? Have you had your vaccines? What’s the plan for next year? Do you need the diabetes management program? Those types of things. That’s your wellness visit. If you’re going to your doctor and they’re touching your body, that is a physical. They’re looking in your ears, nose, all that kind of thing, that’s a physical and the Advantage plans cover that 100% and then there’s some blood work.”

Contact Lori through her website LJ Hutson Insurance LLC.