Bone mass measurement tests are covered once every 24 months if you are at risk for osteoporosis. According to Medicage.gov you are at risk for osteoporosis if you:
- are age 50 or older
- are a woman
- have a family history of broken bones
- are White or Asian
- are small- boned
- have low body weight (less that about 127 pounds)
- smoke or drink a lot
- have a low-calcium diet
If you have original Medicare before January 1, 2011 you will pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount, and the Part B deductible applies. Starting January 1, 2011, you pay nothing for this test if the doctor accepts assignment. That’s right, nothing! For those of you on a supplement plan that was purchased before January 1, 2011 now would be a great time to start shopping for Health Plans plan that has the new Medicare benefits. There are other added benefits to Medicare besides bone density screenings. Insurance Medics would be happy to answer any questions you may have about new Medicare benefits for 2011 or a Senior Health plans, just give us a call. Do you have a Medicare Advantage plan that you enrolled in prior to 2011? You will have to wait until open enrollment in October if you are interested in switching plans.
So what is osteoporosis and why is it important to conduct these bone density screenings? By now we all know what osteoporosis is… we get shorter! All the ads on TV and magazines let us know about the different drugs we can take. Drugs don’t have to be the only answer though. There are lots of things you can do to keep your bones stronger and prevent as much bone loss as you can. These tips are from PubMed Health
“Regular exercise can reduce the likelihood of bone fractures in people with osteoporosis. Some of the recommended exercises include:
- Weight-bearing exercises- walking, jogging, playing tennis, dancing
- Resistance exercises- free weights, weight machines, stretch bands
- Balance exercises-tai chi, yoga
- Riding a stationary bicycle
- Using rowing machines
Avoid any exercises that present a risk of falling, or high-impact exercises that may cause fractures.”
Pubmed Health has some other great suggestions. Here are some of them:
You should take1200 milligrams of calcium per day and 800-1000 units of Vitamin D3. Eat foods that are rich in calcium like cheese, ice cream, leafy green vegetables, low fat milk, salmon, sardines, tofu, and yogurt.
Quit smoking if you smoke and limit alcohol intake. Prevent falls by avoiding walking alone on icy days, using bars in the bathtub and wear well fitting shoes.