Part D Perspectives: Men's Health Network

Part D Perspectives: Men's Health Network

11.06.12 | By Kaelan Hollon

Below is the latest guest post in our "Part D Perspectives" series, which we'll be hosting during the 2013 Medicare Part D Open Enrollment Period (Oct. 12 - Dec. 7).

Scott Williams, VP of Men's Health Network, shares his views on the importance of Part D and how it helps men above 65 remain healthy:

Men's Health Network is a national non-profit organization focusing on health and wellness issues impacting every stage of a man's life. Our mission is to educate and inform both men and their families about chronic disease prevention, health management and a variety of treatment regimens to ensure they understand the opportunities and programs available to improve their overall health and well-being. Considering that patients with chronic diseases account for 75 percent of U.S. health care spending, we view this as critical in keeping men, boys, and their families healthy while reducing overall costs.

Medicare Part D is one program that we believe is essential to this mission and we want men to take advantage of the opportunity that the open enrollment process provides them in choosing an affordable and high-quality prescription drug plan. By comparing plans based on coverage, access and pricing, Americans are able to find the plans that best fit their health and financial needs. For those Medicare beneficiaries already enrolled in the program, we understand that it may seem easier to stick with their current plan because assessing other options can be confusing and time consuming, but often times making that extra effort to explore other options can pay off in a number of ways.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study suggests that men are 100 percent less likely to seek preventative healthcare than women, which means we not only need to inform men of open enrollment, but also find ways to encourage them to take an active interest in their health. By the time men reach the age range of 65-69, there are 85 men for every 100 women, so we know the burden of poor health really is having a greater impact on them.

To help men be more proactive about their health care, we have found that engaging spouses, family members and caregivers is crucial. Emphasizing the importance of staying healthy is something that family members and loved ones can easily do. While men might not take an active interest in preventative care, they are likely to do it for someone they love.

We have also found that, especially for older Americans, the
best way to reach out to educate on important programs like Part D is to bring the discussion to them, in places where they feel comfortable. We work directly with caregivers and various senior affiliated organizations as well as nursing homes, community centers, and health fairs to ensure basic healthcare information is reaching those who need it most.

Part D has also been a great success because it has consistently come in under budget while providing beneficiaries with quality prescription drug coverage. By taking advantage of open enrollment, seniors across the nation, and especially those already on Part D, will be making a smart choice for the future of their health care. The more we work together and get the word out, the better our chances of ensuring that the program works to its fullest effect.

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