5 things to check off your health care list this year

With everything else that we have going on in our lives, plus staying home more due to the continuing pandemic, 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 extra cost to you? Flu and pneumonia vaccines are also fully covered.

And rest assured that, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, clinics, doctor’s offices and pharmacies have health and safety protocols in place to help keep patients safe during their appointments — including offering ways to virtually see your providers.

Make it a priority to add the following appointments to your 2022 calendar. Your long-term health may thank you.

1. Annual wellness visit
There is no additional charge under Medicare for your wellness visit.

2. Vaccinations

If you haven’t already been vaccinated against COVID-19, consider scheduling your vaccine or booster as soon as possible. These vaccines are an important step in reducing the risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization, especially for older adults. Visit our COVID-19 vaccine page to learn more about scheduling your vaccination and booster, checking symptoms, find testing centers and more.

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, particularly in a time of COVID-19. This can be administered at the same time as your COVID-19 vaccine.

Finally, a pneumococcal vaccine, which can help prevent pneumonia, is recommended for most adults 65 years and older. This can be 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 doctor 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 two dental visits a year.

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 doctor 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.

And to learn how UnitedHealthcare Medicare plans are set up to help you access to the care you need, visit UHCMedicareHealthPlans.com.

Health care checklist infographic: annual wellness visit, vaccines, preventive screenings aand specialists, dental exam, eye exam