Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a condition that affects nearly 2 million U.S. citizens each year. However, many older adults don’t really understand what the disease is and how it can affect the body. Since May is National Arthritis Awareness Month, now is the perfect time to dig a little deeper into RA so you can respond to it more effectively if you ever get it. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about this condition.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of autoimmune disease. It’s most prevalent among women who are over the age of 70. It also seems to affect African Americans and Hispanics more than it does Caucasians.

Essentially Rheumatoid arthritis attacks the lining of a person’s joints. This is a process that causes the joints to become inflamed, which can lead to pain, swelling, and uncomfortable stiffness. In intense cases, RA can lead to a person not being able to move the affected joint.

What Are the Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

If you have RA, it’s important that you take action to treat it as soon as possible. Doing so can significantly reduce the amount of pain that you feel and empower you to begin enjoying your favorite activities again. The first step in this process is understanding what the symptoms of RA look like.

Some of the most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Joint pain that lasts
  • Frequent joint swelling and/or stiffness
  • Joints that are tender or painful to the touch
  • Difficulty with using the joint normally
  • Warmth and redness in the joint

How is Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated?

Experts recommend that you seek professional medical treatment if you experience any of the symptoms of RA for more than two weeks. You may need to go to a doctor even sooner if you have a fever or feel physically ill, in addition to having problems with your joints.

When you visit a doctor, they’ll likely prescribe you some pain and anti-inflammatory medications. They may also suggest something called anti-rheumatic drugs, which are meant to slow the damage caused by the disease.

The good news is that with professional attention, the pain and swelling from RA almost always get better. Your doctor may even be able to slow down or stop the joint damage from RA altogether.

Does Medicare Cover the Cost of RA Treatment?

Yes, in most cases, you can use your Medicare health insurance to cover the costs of treating Rheumatoid arthritis. Many Medicare plans will cover the costs of both inpatient and outpatient treatments for RA.

That being said, the specifics of your coverage will, of course, vary based on the exact type of Medicare plan that you have. If you’d like to get more specific information about your coverage, then consider reaching out to a partnered licensed agent at Time for 65.

Agents are Medicare experts who understand the ins and outs of even the most complicated plans. They can tell you more about the parts of your RA treatment that would be covered and the parts that may not be.

Getting in touch with an agent is easy. You can do so today by either filling out this form or giving us a call. We hope to hear from you soon.