The days are short, the nights cold, and it’s time to pack up and head south for the winter.
You’ve folded your shorts and put your sunscreen in your bag—but are all your health affairs in order as you move to your cold-weather home? Use the following list to make sure.
Medicare and most insurance plans cover emergency care anywhere in the U.S. But, make sure you’re covered for any preventive or general care you receive away from home. If not, consider a short-term plan that offers out- of-state or foreign travel benefits.
Look into home health agencies. If you don’t have a primary care doctor where you’re headed, these services can fulfill many of your medical needs. Medicare also covers this service for those who are eligible. The Medicare Web site, www.medicare.gov, can help you find a reputable organization in your area. These agencies can come to your home for health evaluations. They can also make a list of medical equipment you might need to use in your home and arrange for pick-up or shipment.
Manage your medications. Fill your prescriptions—make sure you have enough for your trip—and then have your doctor write down the drug names, doses, and when and how you take them. You’ll get fewer questions from security agents and will be able to replace drugs if needed. If you’re flying, pack medicines in your carry-on instead of checked bags. Just tell security if you’ll be carrying liquid medication in a bottle larger than 3 ounces.
Consider purchasing an ID or Medic Alert bracelet for yourself or any family members with health conditions or memory problems. They can save lives in emergency situations.