High levels of cholesterol, a waxy substance in the blood, can increase your risk of developing heart disease, so it’s important to see a physician regularly for checkups. Lab work can determine your good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. Take advantage of your Medicare coverage of annual doctor visits and preventive screenings. If your physician determines you need medication, such as Vytorin, to help lower your LDL, Medicare may be able to help reduce your out-of-pocket costs.
Vytorin is a combination of two types of drugs that work together to lower your bad cholesterol. The generic form of Vytorin is the combination of Ezetimbe and Simvastin. Ezetimbe reduces the amount of cholesterol that your body absorbs, while Simvastin helps decrease the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver. Working together with lifestyle changes, this medication can help prevent heart disease and strokes.
What Causes High Cholesterol?
High cholesterol can be caused by a variety of factors, including age, poor diet, lack of activity, obesity, and smoking. It can also be a side effect of other medical conditions, such as diabetes. Making changes to your lifestyle can make a difference. Try eating a low-sodium and low fat diet, losing weight, and quitting smoking. The American Heart Association recommends exercising 5 days a week for approximately 30 minutes. Lowering your stress levels and drinking alcohol in moderation can contribute to heart-healthy habits, as well.
Medicare Coverage Can Help Lower Your Cholesterol
When you are first eligible for Medicare, you will have the opportunity for a Welcome to Medicare visit with a Medicare-approved physician. This is a great time for your doctor to get to know you, your medical history and your current needs. You and your doctor can create a plan for any screenings and exams you may need based on your personal circumstances. After you have been enrolled in Medicare for 12 months, you will have a Yearly Wellness Exam. These visits are covered by Medicare Part B. Part B (Medical Insurance) also covers many of the medically necessary services and supplies your doctor may recommend, including lab work if your doctor feels you may be at risk for high cholesterol.
If your doctor determines you need medication to help lower your cholesterol, Vytorin may be able to help. Unfortunately, Medicare Part A and Part B do not include prescription drug coverage. Most Medicare recipients choose to enroll in optional Part D prescription drug coverage when they are first eligible for coverage. You can enroll in a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) if you have Original Medicare, or you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan. MA plans are required to provide at least the same coverage as Part A and Part B, but many offer additional benefits including prescription drug coverage. Each Part D plan will have its own formulary, or list of covered drugs. If your doctor prescribes Vytorin for you, check with your plan to make sure it is covered and to find out your exact costs. Costs can vary between plans.