Can Preventative Care Save Money?
It’s a well-known fact that preventative medical care – wellness exams, mammograms, other screenings – can catch potential health problems early. Early detection leads to better health outcomes in almost all cases.
But, does preventative care result in a monetary savings?
Here the research is inconclusive in the long term, except in one area – cardiovascular preventative medicine. According to Medicare Rights Center, a new study revealed that:
“Spending on older adults over age 65 in the Medicare program slowed remarkably between 2005 and 2012, and researchers point to reduced spending on cardiovascular disease as responsible for as much as half of that downturn. These reductions in spending are largely due to increased use of medications to combat high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which are risk factors for heart disease and stroke.” (Julie Carter, Medicare Rights Center, February 7, 2019).
What would you do with an extra $3,000 a year?
Research shows the average person saved “nearly $3,000 per year, with nearly $120 billion in savings split roughly evenly between the Medicare program and the rest of the health system.”
The study, led by David Cutler, the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics, shows that preventative medicine has the potential to not only save lives, but save on healthcare costs as well. It has been previously thought that cost savings were unattainable because preventative programs require large numbers of participants expenses exceeded any cost savings. However, the new data, particularly in cardiovascular preventative medicine, shows the opposite to be true.
It’s extremely important to maintain a preventative medicine program and be adherent to any medication regimens your physician prescribes. Not only can they prevent major health problems, they can help you keep more of your dollars in your wallet. For most people, an average savings of $3,000 per year could significantly impact their lifestyle.
Check your benefits!
Medicare offers a range of preventative care – annual physicals, well-woman exams, and a myriad of immunizations for older adults. Some Medicare Advantage Plans include exercise programs such as Silver Sneakers, each designed for maintaining health and vitality for seniors. Not only will you feel better physically you might have a little extra change in your pocket as well.