Health

Ask This About Medicare and COPD Treatments

Are a senior on Medicare in need of COPD treatment? If so, you are not alone. Many seniors suffering from COPD have found plenty of relief from their symptoms thanks to Medicare-covered treatments that can greatly increase a senior’s quality of life. While you can’t turn back the clocks and tell your younger self to drop that cigarette, there are some things you can do to relieve your current suffering, so that you don’t haven to live in pain and discomfort. Symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, chest discomfort and shortness of breath can all be reduced significantly, so that you can engage in normal activities that you enjoy and improve your independence. If you are a senior suffering from COPD, ask this about Medicare and COPD treatments that may be able to help you.

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Which medications are available to treat COPD?

Most medications used to treat COPD symptoms are bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids. These medications help to reduced inflammation in the airways, thereby reducing symptoms such as chest tightness, difficulty breathing, coughing and wheezing. There are numerous brands, both generic and name brand that treat these symptoms.

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Am I covered for oxygen therapy?

Oxygen therapy can be a great way to relieve COPD symptoms and improve breathing. Medicare will cover the costs of renting oxygen equipment, as well as pay for supplies including oxygen tanks. However, oxygen therapy must be provided by a DME supplier.

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What is pulmonary rehabilitation?

Pulmonary rehabilitation, usually covered by Medicare, can be used to treat moderate to severe COPD. Pulmonary rehab will help improve your fitness level, improve your breathing and reduce symptoms of COPD. Rehab involves relaxation, breathing techniques, nutrition and exercise, as well as emotional support group therapy. Medicare will cover up to two one-hour sessions per day up to 36 sessions for a lifetime.

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What are the treatment options available?

There are numerous COPD treatment options available, however not all of them are necessarily available under your Medicare plan. Among the treatment options available are lung rehabilitation, medications like bronchodilators and oxygen therapy.

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Are COPD medications covered by Medicare?

Most medications that are bronchodilators or inhaled steroids are usually covered by Medicare. Medications are covered by Medicare Part D, so you’ll need a Medicare Part D plan in order to get coverage. However, the amount you’ll need to pay for your copayment will depend on your plan.

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What lifestyle changes should I make?

If you are suffering from COPD, even as a senior it is not too late to make lifestyle changes that can improve your life. One of the best choices you can make is to stop smoking, since smoke is an irritant that can aggravate the lungs and make COPD worse. Getting plenty of fresh air and being as active as you can will also help a lot.

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Can I get counseling to help me quit?

If you are having trouble quitting by yourself – don’t worry. You are not alone. Under Medicare Part B, you will be covered for counseling should you need it. A certified counselor can help you kick the dirty habit and help you gain control of your life again. Medicare Part B will cover you for up to eight face-to-face visits with a counselor each year.

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Can I get smoking aid products under Medicare?

Medicare does in fact cover smoking aid products designed to help you quit smoking. For instance, nicotine patches and other nicotine aids are all covered by Medicare part D. This can help reduce the cost of these products significantly.

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