Getting your cholesterol levels checked regularly is a very important part of preventative healthcare. High cholesterol levels can lead to other harmful chronic health conditions, but when you’re aware of your cholesterol, you can manage it effectively. September is National Cholesterol Education Month, and if you haven’t been screened in a while, now is a great time to talk to your healthcare provider about your options. Medicare covers regular cholesterol screenings for many patients – here’s what you need to know. 

What is cholesterol? 

Cholesterol is a type of lipid that your body needs for many of its essential functions. It is a waxy substance produced by your liver. Your body needs cholesterol to survive – it uses it to make hormones, cell membranes, and other parts of your body. However, cholesterol can also be found in fatty meats and other animal products. Too much cholesterol can cause long-term health issues. 

What are the symptoms of high cholesterol? 

High cholesterol on its own actually doesn’t have any symptoms. Because of this, many people don’t actually realize they have high cholesterol until it’s too late to do something about it. When left unchecked, high cholesterol can build up in your arteries, which increases your chances of having a stroke or developing heart disease. 

Does Medicare cover cholesterol screenings? 

Medicare Part B covers blood screenings once every five years. These blood screenings test your cholesterol levels as well as your triglycerides and lipids. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you may be covered for more frequent screenings. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurers as a way to supplement Original Medicare coverage. Each plan is different, so be sure to check yours to see if you’re covered. 

How can I keep my cholesterol levels low? 

Although high cholesterol levels can be alarming, there are things you can do to keep them in check. Eating a healthy diet is very important for keeping your cholesterol levels low. Limit the amount of saturated and trans fats you are eating – try to stick to foods with healthier fats like omega-3s. You should also monitor your sodium intake.

Exercising regularly can also help to keep your cholesterol levels low. If you smoke, take steps to quit, and only drink alcohol in moderation. If you do have high cholesterol, your doctor will work with you to help you adopt healthier lifestyle habits. There are also cholesterol medications to help you if you are really struggling with high cholesterol levels. 

Testing your cholesterol levels now can help you live a healthier life in the future. If you’re interested in learning more about Medicare coverage for cholesterol testing, contact Time for 65’s licensed partnered agents today. click here or (866) 399-4330 to see how we can help.