older-senior-wearing-a-mask-getting-vaccinated As a variety of information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations  stirs throughout the nation, keeping  informed with accurate vaccine information can help individuals stay  prepared and remove false claims about the safety of the vaccines.   

As stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the COVID-19 vaccine helps our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having to get the illnessGetting vaccinated is one of many steps you can take to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. It is encouraged to continue to wear face masks and social distance to help reduce your chances of being exposed or spreading the virus to others  

Medicare beneficiaries can receive medically necessary items and services related to COVID-19 from health care providers who accept Original Medicare or is in-network with their Medicare Advantage Plan. According to Medicare.govMedicare beneficiaries pay nothing for the COVID-19 vaccine and cannot be charged an administration fee to receive the shot. Avoid sharing your personal or financial information if someone is promising access to the vaccine for a fee. When filling out the form to get the vaccine, be sure to bring your red, white, and blue Medicare card so your provider or pharmacy can bill Medicare.   

Pharmaceutical manufacturers have been distributing the vaccine to federally and state-approved locations to start the vaccination of tier groups. Each state has its own plan for deciding who they will vaccinate first and how residents can get vaccines. As reported by the California Department of Public HealthCalifornia is building on lessons learned from previous vaccination campaigns and seasonal influenza efforts to prepare and plan for the receipt and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine and its implementation across the state. Access COVID-19 vaccine information by keeping informed with the California Department of Aging. 

To learn more about COVID-19 vaccine resources near you, speak with a Community Resource Specialist: (408) 350-3200, option 1.  

Lung Cancer Screening

Medicare Part B covers lung cancer screening using low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) if the individual meets all the following criteria:

  • Aged 55 to 77
  • No signs or symptoms of lung cancer
  • Current smoker or quit smoking within the past 15 years
  • Tobacco smoking history averaging one pack per day for 20 years (“20 pack-years”)
  • An order from a doctor or healthcare provider

Take advantage of these preventative services offered by Medicare by asking for them for yourself or your loved one. In this way, older adults can reduce their risk of developing substance abuse disorders or mitigate its effects to maintain healthier lifestyles.

References

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020, July). Substance use in older adults drugfacts. Substance Use in Older Adults DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (nih.gov)
  2. gov. (n.d.). Preventive & screening services. preventive services (medicare.gov)

 

This project was supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $94,686 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.