Health screenings and preventive visits: essential elements of a retirement plan

It’s never too early to be proactive and ensure we’re ready for our health in retirement. Our health, unlike the FERS pension or the Social Security pension, is not guaranteed. Our health is more like the Thrift Saving Plan. We need to take the initiative and take care of our health throughout our employment and continue to manage our health in retirement.

Nearly a third of Americans according to a The bank rate A 2020 online survey did not seek medical care due to expenses related to doctor visits, medications, vaccinations, annual exams and eye checks. The website doctor online last year shared that 18% of Americans had not seen a doctor in five years or more.

Federal employees should take advantage of two distinct benefits to safeguard their health. Firstsick leave, accumulated at the rate of 4 hours for each bi-weekly pay period, can be used for medical appointments. Secondemployees and their families can choose the most appropriate health care plan from the many options available under the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) program.

The government pays between 28% and 30% of the cost of the various premiums. And the pre-tax dollars can be used to pay the participant’s contribution while employed. At retirement, the government will continue to subsidize premiums. Unfortunately, retirees’ premiums are paid with after-tax dollars.

In addition, federal employees can choose from fee-for-service plans (FFS), health maintenance organizations (HMOs), consumer-oriented health plans (CDHPs), and deductible health plans. high (HDHP). Participants can also switch plans each year during the open season period each year or when they experience a FEHB-specific qualifying life event.

Full-time federal employees and their families have no excuse for neglecting their health. Well-being is a center of intentions, choices and actions as we strive to achieve a desired optimal goal. It is achieved by striving to balance choices to improve our health.

So what should federal employees do to ensure their health is on track for retirement? Each year, each of us should make it a priority to use our annual sick leave and FEHB plan to schedule a physical exam.

A simple strategy to ensure that you and your family members have an annual physical is to target the birth month of the visit. Another approach may be to do it at the end of the year. Otherwise “lost” annual leave could be used instead of sick leave for medical appointments.

We are all familiar with the concept of a physical health exam which includes a review of our medical history combined with various laboratory tests. There is a growing consensus, however, among some medical professionals that Americans do not need to have an annual medical exam. The American Association of Retirees (AARP) and others have publicly questioned the need for such a review every year.

This belief is supported by Medicare’s approach to health care for older adults. Medicare (Part B) does not cover the expense of an annual medical exam, while some Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans may cover it.

At 65 offers a free “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit. This initial visit and all subsequent annual wellness visits do not include a physical examination. Wellness visits are not as comprehensive as a full medical examination.

During the visit, the healthcare professional will have you complete a health risk assessment to assess your current health status, assess your risk factors, and assess your family history. Your medication history will be reviewed and you will be checked for possible memory problems.

No blood or other lab tests are included in annual Medicare wellness visits (Part B). Maintaining an FEHB plan or enrolling in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan can ensure that you and your spouse can continue a more robust annual physical routine during retirement.

Some of us will check our savings plan and other investments every day to see how well we are doing on the road to retirement. But how many of us are actively concerned with tracking our health profile before retirement?

© 2022 Francis Xavier (FX) Bergmeister. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without the express written permission of Francis Xavier (FX) Bergmeister.

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