As a nation, we strive to ensure that our Medicare Eligibles and those with disabilities can access the medical care they need. One of the ways we do this is through Medicare, a federal program that provides health coverage for individuals aged 65 and older, as well as certain younger individuals with disabilities. In this blog post, we’re going to delve into how Medicare provides support for people with Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that affects motor function.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. While tremors are common with Parkinson’s disease, the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement. It affects nearly one million people in the US, and while it can’t be cured, its symptoms can be managed with the right treatment.
Medicare and Parkinson’s: An Overview
Medicare covers a comprehensive suite of services for individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. This includes regular doctor visits, necessary medications, and various physical, occupational, and speech therapy therapies. In addition, Medicare also provides coverage for necessary medical equipment and certain surgical procedures like deep brain stimulation surgery for eligible patients.
Doctor Visits and Medications
Regular doctor visits are crucial for managing Parkinson’s disease, and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers these visits. This includes the services of primary care doctors and specialists such as neurologists, who are often involved in the care of Parkinson’s patients.
Medications are a key part of Parkinson’s disease management. Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage) covers many of the medications used to treat Parkinson’s. It’s important to note that coverage can vary, and it’s recommended to check with individual Part D providers to see what specific drugs are covered under their plan.
Therapy and Equipment
Living with Parkinson’s often means needing various types of therapy to manage symptoms and maintain quality of life. Medicare Part B covers physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology services. These therapies can help improve mobility, assist with daily tasks, and address speech and swallowing difficulties often associated with the disease.
In addition, Medicare also covers durable medical equipment (DME) that your doctor prescribes for use in your home. This can include items like walkers or wheelchairs, which can be crucial for individuals with advanced Parkinson’s disease.
For some individuals with Parkinson’s, surgery may become a necessary part of treatment. One such procedure is deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery, which involves implanting a device that sends electrical signals to the areas of the brain that control movement. This can help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life for eligible patients. Medicare covers DBS surgery for individuals who meet specific criteria.
Understanding the ins and outs of Medicare coverage can be daunting, especially when dealing with a serious condition like Parkinson’s disease. However, it’s crucial to know that you’re not alone in this journey, and there are resources available to help.
While Parkinson’s is a challenging disease, it’s important to remember that with the right care and support, individuals with Parkinson’s can lead fulfilling lives. Medicare is there to provide the necessary coverage and services to make this possible. If you have questions about your Medicare coverage or need assistance navigating your options, don’t hesitate to reach out to reach out to one of our licensed health plan agents at Trusted Senior Specialists.