Is Your Medical Team in Place
Author: Lane Keating
Is your Medical Team in Place?
At the end of the day, the best way to insure your retirement won’t be devastated by healthcare cost is to begin adopting a healthier lifestyle right now. Get regular check-ups. Lose weight. Start an exercise routine – even it is only a daily stroll around the block. Stop smoking. Limit your alcohol intake. Stop sun bathing. Wear your seatbelt.
This is KEY: You should not wait until you are sick to line up your medical team. It is way too late to start trying to find competent medical practitioners when you are already sick!
If your primary care physician is your age or older, start asking around for referrals to a younger doctor. Young doctors are often more up-to-date on the latest medical treatments and information. They network with other younger doctors and specialists. And they probably won’t be retiring before you do.
Spend time on your search and choose with care. After all, this is the doctor who will be helping you find specialists should you need one. Be sure to ask prospective doctors about their policies regarding Medicare and treating older patients. Because Congress routinely cuts reimbursement to physicians, many doctors no longer accept Medicare.
The Affordable Care Act is also threatening to drive more doctors out of medicine in the coming years because of reduced payments to providers. If you don’t already have a doctor, it will become more and more difficult to get one. If you do have a doctor, you may have to wait longer for appointments, because he or she will have more Medicare patients to care for.
If you are planning to move someplace new after you retire, pay attention to the availability of quality healthcare. Try to find a doctor you trust before moving to the new location. Be sure there is a good general hospital in the area and there are plenty of specialists to treat typical illnesses of old age: hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, etc.
It is widely believed there will be a shortage of medical technicians in the years ahead – especially in certain out-of-the-way places and for geriatric care. Be sure you will be able to get the care you need…. shop for a doctor NOW!
Your health and medical care should be top of mind as you get older. Many retirements are devastated by unexpected medical emergencies that can ruin you financially. Worse still, even the most expensive medical treatment does not come with a guarantee of a good outcome.