Heart-healthy tips for American Heart Month
Did you know February is American Heart Month? Hard to miss with the abundance of heart-shaped candies, cupid cutouts in stores and restaurants, couples confessing their undying love, etc., but that’s not the heart being highlighted. American Heart Month focuses on the heart in your chest, one of the most important organs in your body. With heart diseases being one of the leading causes of death in the United States, it’s important to learn what steps you can take to help prevent them.
Schedule a preventative screening to catch potential problems early
One of the easiest steps you can take is having an annual wellness screening. Major medical plans generally cover wellness screenings and other preventative health services at no charge to you. During wellness screenings you can typically have a physical assessment done and routine bloodwork. On top of that, there are certain supplemental limited benefit insurance policies where you may be eligible for a wellness benefit, such as critical illness, cancer, or accident policies. Basically, a wellness benefit provides an incentive for you to have an annual health screening so you can better understand your health and get help to improve it.
Reduce your risk: Tips to follow at any age
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease doesn’t happen to just older adults. Conditions that lead to heart disease are happening to younger adults more and more often1. Fortunately, there are several lifestyle changes you can make to help protect you from heart diseases no matter what your age is. Below are a few tips from the National Institute of Aging (NIA).2
Know the common warning signs of heart disease
It’s important to know the common symptoms so you can react quickly. Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but many start slowly with mild pain or discomfort that can be felt days or weeks in advance. Because every person is unique, the actual symptom and severity of symptoms differ per person. You shouldn’t take these warning signs too lightly. Here is a breakdown of some common symptoms according to the CDC3:
Financially prepare for the unexpected
Life-threatening illnesses such as cardiovascular disease may require extensive medical care with high out-of-pocket costs. Many don’t realize, but your primary medical health insurance plan may not cover all of it. You can set yourself up for success and prepare for these expenses by putting aside some money in an emergency fund or protecting your existing finances with supplemental insurance policies. Limited benefit insurance policies such as critical illness, disability, hospital indemnity, or gap are designed to provide various coverage options that provide help you with an extra sense of security if you are faced with an illness.
This blog is up to date as of February 2022 and has not been updated for changes in the law, administration or current events.