Men & Medicare: 3 Health Screenings Every Man Should Have

As you get older, your health can change, and you might find yourself dealing with new medical issues. Fortunately, if you’re 65 or older,  Medicare will take care of you. But Medicare isn’t only there to help you manage your conditions, you can – and should – also use it to get the screenings you need to keep on top of your health!

And right now, we’re talking to all the men out there: there are various health screenings suggested for men 65 and older that many men often put off, or don’t take seriously enough. But whether you’re avoiding getting a screening because you don’t think you need it, or because you think it will cost too much, you could end up missing the early warning signs of a disease that could be life-threatening. Medicare will cover the following three health screenings that every man should have, so talk to your doctor today!

1. Prostate Cancer

blue ribbon
About 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their life.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer for men in the United States, after skin cancer. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their life. Many men will not experience any symptoms when prostate cancer is in its early stages, so it’s important to get an annual exam to check for early warning signs, and catch any abnormalities as soon as possible. 

For this reason, Medicare will begin paying for this screening starting at age 50.  Medicare will cover both a digital rectal exam and a prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, test once a year.

2. Colorectal Cancer

Over the past couple of decades, colorectal cancer rates have been increasing. In fact, the Colorectal Cancer Alliance believes that the risk of men developing colorectal cancer in their lifetime is now 1 in 23. A lot of men put off having a screening for this type of cancer because they worry about invasiveness, or they might not realize that they are already in a risky age group, but delaying could mean missing a diagnosis. This is especially true since most men do not experience symptoms until the cancer has spread.

If you’re worried about the test for colorectal cancer, know that you have options: Medicare will cover various preventative screenings, including a physical occult blood test, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and colonoscopy.

3. Diabetes

diabetes machine with sugar next to it
Medicare Part B will cover glucose lab tests if you have risk factors for diabetes.

Diabetes can lead to other serious medical conditions such as heart disease and stroke. In fact, did you know that nearly 70% of people with diabetes who are 65 or older die of some form of heart disease? 

Medicare Part B will cover glucose lab tests if you have risk factors for diabetes including high blood pressure, obesity, high blood sugar, and a history of high cholesterol levels. Medicare will also cover a diabetes screening if you are overweight or have a family history of diabetes. 

Extra Coverage

Taking care of yourself is important, and Medicare makes it easy to get the screenings you need. So don’t put off getting screened for the above conditions, because doing so could help you live a little longer. 

And if you need more help paying for screenings and other medical expenses, a Medicare Supplement Plan can help. These plans can cover your Part A deductible and coinsurance costs, as well as your Medicare Part B copayment, coinsurance, and deductible. There are 10 different plans to choose from, and depending on which plan you choose, you could get anywhere from 75% coverage of your medical expenses all the way up to 100%. Each plan offers a range of coverage at different price points, so you’re sure to find one that’s right for you. 

Need help finding the right plan? EZ can compare all 10 Medicare Supplement Plans and find the one that will meet your financial and medical needs. Our agents work with the top-rated insurance companies in the nation, which makes comparing plans easy, quick, and free – our services come at no cost to you because we just want to help you save money so you can focus on your health. To get free instant quotes on plans that cover your doctors, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to a local licensed agent, call 888-753-7207.

Cancer Rates Are Dropping For African American Men & Women

For decades, African Americans have dealt with many systemic inequalities in this country, including unequal access to healthcare, which has led to big disparities in the health of African Americans and Caucasians even today. However, the tides are slowly turning, and almost every marker of health seems to be improving for African Americans. For example, according to a study by the American Cancer Society, African Americans have long had a higher mortality rate for cancer than Caucasians have had, but death rates for African American men and women have actually been decreasing significantly over the last several years. 

Cancers That Most Affect African Americans

blur ribbon for prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in African American men.

According to the CDC, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in African American men, and breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in African American women. Each makes up nearly one-third of cancers diagnosed in each gender. Lung and colorectal cancers are the second and third most commonly diagnosed cancers in both African American men and women.

Slow Improvements

Although African Americans still have the highest death rate and the lowest survival rate of any racial group for most cancers, the overall cancer death rate for that group has been dropping. In fact, the death rate for African Americans decreased 25% from 1999 to 2015.

In the American Cancer Society’s report, Cancer Facts & Figures for African Americans 2019-2021, they give numbers on new cancer cases, deaths, survival, screening test use, and risk factors for African Americans. They found:

  • From 2006 to 2015, the overall cancer death rate declined faster among African American men and women than among Caucasian men and women in the US. 
    • Rates for African American men declined 2.6%  per year vs. 1.6% for Caucasian men.
    • Rates for African American women declined 1.5%  per year vs. 1.3% for Caucasian women.
  • Continuous declines in death rates for the past 25 years have resulted in more than 462,000 fewer cancer deaths.
  • Among men, the overall cancer death rate was 47% higher for African Americans than for Caucasians in 1990, but only 19% higher in 2016.
  • Among women, the death rates decreased from 19% to 13% over the same period, with the gap nearly disappearing for some age groups.

“Seeing the substantial progress made over the past several decades in reducing Black-white disparities in cancer mortality is incredibly gratifying,” said Len Lichtenfeld, MD, interim chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, in a statement. “This progress is driven in large part by drops in the lung cancer death rate driven by more rapid decreases in smoking over the past 40 years in Blacks than in whites. To continue this progress, we need to expand access to high-quality cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment for all Americans.”

Closing The Gap

Despite numbers going down, diagnoses of cancer and the cancer mortality rate are still high for African Americans because they often face more risk factors, as well as access to healthcare that is still often unequal – for example, African Americans tend to be screened for cancer less often than Caucasians. stethoscope hanging over a clear box with a glove box in it

With that being said, though, there are more ways to access quality healthcare now than ever before, which is hopeful. With the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has helped millions of Americans access better healthcare, and the extension of premium tax credits to more households, health insurance is more accessible to everyone. Not only that, but Medicare has been slowly expanding its benefits to cover more and reduce out-of-pocket costs. All of this has helped narrow the gap, along with African Americans themselves taking control and seeking more care, and taking better care of themselves with the better resources available to them. 

What Can You Do?

To help prevent cancer, you need to get screened regularly, go to your annual doctor visits, and take your medications! Other things you can do to continue to beat the odds is to adopt a healthier lifestyle that includes exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. You should also make sure you have access to affordable, quality healthcare, which you can do by adding a Medicare Supplement Plan onto your existing Medicare Parts A and B. Remember, Medicare will cover most of your treatments and medications, but Part B will only pay for 80% of your expenses, leaving you to pay the remaining 20% out-of-pocket. That 20% can really add up, but if you have a Medicare Supplement Plan, your plan will cover many of these costs. 

There are 10 different Medicare Supplement Plans to choose from, so it’s important to compare each one and find the plan that suits your medical needs and saves you money. EZ agents work with the top-rated insurance companies in the country and can compare plans for you in minutes, at no cost to you. To get free instant quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to a licensed local agent, call 888-753-7207. No hassle or obligation.

Facts About Men’s Health That Might Surprise You

Ok, guys, it’s time we had a talk. Being the “strong, silent type” might be ok in some scenarios, but it’s just not working out when it comes to your health. For some reason, whether it’s because of cultural expectations of men or because men feel like they just don’t have the time, guys aren’t talking about or taking care of their well being as much as they should. In fact, men are 24% less likely than are women to have visited a doctor in the past year, according to the U.S. Department Of Health & Human Services, and studies show that 40% of men only go to the doctor when they think they have a serious medical issue. That means more than half of men aren’t getting regular checkups! Not only that, but more than 50% say their health is not something they talk about. So, since June is Men’s Health Month, we’re going to do the talking for you, and highlight the importance of looking after yourself with these eye-opening facts about men’s health.

Heart Disease Is the Number 1 Killer of Both Men and Women But…

drawing of a human heart with a red circle around it
Fact: Heart disease causes 1 out of every 4 deaths in men.

Yes, we’re now much more open about the fact that heart disease kills just as many women as it does men; in fact, it’s the leading cause of death for both sexes. But it’s still important to know that heart disease causes 1 out of every 4 deaths in men, as well as to know that men often develop heart disease 10-15 years earlier than do women, and are more likely to die of it at a younger age. Other conditions that lead to heart disease like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes are also more common among men. The average age for men for a first heart attack is just 66, so start thinking about your heart health now! That includes eating right and getting enough exercise: after all, if you’re a man with a waist measurement over 37 inches, your risk of heart disease (and diabetes) increases dramatically!

Men Need Their Beauty Sleep, Too

Getting enough sleep is not really about maintaining your looks – it has more to do with the above statistics about men’s tendency to deadly heart conditions. It turns out that men who sleep 7-8 hours a night are around 60% less less likely to have a fatal heart attack than those who sleep 5 hours or less, so turn off your phone and hit the hay!

Not Talking About Men’s Mental Health Can Be Deadly

Again, thinking you have to be the “strong, silent type” isn’t good for anyone’s health – especially not your mental health. We might brush it off as just a stereotype that men have a difficult time discussing their feelings, but this is actually a phenomenon that has been well documented by psychologists. So, unfortunately it seems that men are suffering in silence: the American Psychological Association reports that 30.6% of men (that we know of) have suffered from depression in their lifetime. And not only are men less likely to be treated for mental health issues, they are 3 times more likely that women to die by suicide. It’s time to end the stigma and speak up. black silhouette of a head with white puzzle pieces in it and the black puzzle pieces next to the silhouetteIn addition to talking about mental health, there’s something else men can do to help keep themselves fit in both mind and body: studies show that inactive men are 60% more likely to suffer from depression, so get in your daily dose of exercise. That’s not to say you shouldn’t seek help for any symptoms of depression or other mental health issues, but getting active is always a good idea!

Men Die Younger, But It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way!

Most people have heard the stats by now: on average, men die about 5 years younger than women (cue all the bad jokes). But you know what? It doesn’t have to be that way: men actually have much more of a say in their health than they might think. Studies show that only 30% of a man’s overall health is determined by his genetics, and 70% is controllable through lifestyle. 

For example, in addition to reducing your waist size and getting enough sleep, as mentioned above, choosing to climb 50 stairs or walk 5 city blocks a day could lower your risk of heart attack by 25%. Or, think about your alcohol intake: drinking more than 10 drinks a week almost doubles your risk of type 2 diabetes. We’ll say it again, because we can’t emphasize it enough: eating right and getting enough exercise can make all the difference in your health! And, if you’re not sure where to start, follow the World Health Organization’s guidelines for exercise (75-150 minutes/week of vigorous activity or 150-300 minutes of moderate activity) and know that getting your 5-7 servings of fruit and veggies is as simple as 1 apple, half an avocado, 1 stalk of celery, half a grapefruit, 5 pieces of broccoli.

The Risk of Prostate Cancer is Real

blue ribbon for prostate cancer
Fact: 1 in 8 men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death among men, and, just as there are some cancers specific to women, there are cancers specific to men – and one is extremely common. 230,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year, making it the most common cancer among men; in fact, 1 in 8 men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime, which is the same risk that women run for breast cancer. On the bright side, this type of cancer tends to grow slowly, so you have a good chance of catching it early. But that doesn’t mean you should wait to talk to your doctor about testing. Do it! Now!

Erectile Dysfunction Is More Common, and Could Be More Problematic, Than You Might Think

If you think erectile dysfunction (ED) only happens to older men, think again. Approximately 30 million men in the U.S. experience ED, and 52% of men between the ages of 40 and 70 suffer from some form of ED. The condition can be caused by multiple factors, including stress, drug or alcohol use, psychological factors, or smoking, but it can also be a sign of underlying health issues. According to Dr. Judson Brandeis, “Heart disease, high blood pressure and high blood sugar can all cause ED. Finding and treating the cause(s) of your ED can help your overall health and wellbeing.”

When it comes down to it, not speaking out about men’s health isn’t good for anyone, especially since there are so many ways that men can improve their quality of life, both physically and mentally. Some studies show that the average man lives 9 years of their life in poor health, simply because of lifestyle choices and easily preventable issues. But now that you know the real facts about men’s health, you can do something about it! So get out there, spread the word, and get healthy this month, and every month!


Men’s Health: Medicare & Prostate Cancer Screenings

It’s a scary statistic, but every 15 minutes, an American man dies from prostate cancer. According to, approximately 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. That means, for every 8 men you know in your life, 1 could be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and that likelihood goes up the older they are. The average age for diagnosis is 66, with around 6 cases of prostate cancer in 10 being diagnosed in men who are 65 or older. June is National Men’s Health Month, so take this opportunity to learn more about prostate cancer, and get screened when it is recommended by Medicare! Medicare will cover prostate cancer screenings, as long as you follow the guidelines. 

Prostate Cancer

The exact cause of prostate cancer is unknown, but it occurs when the prostate gland, which is below the urinary bladder and in front of the rectum, grows at an abnormal rate or to an abnormal size. There are 2 types of growth:

prostate with a red tumor on it and green viruses around it
Malignant growths on the prostate can be life threatening.
  • Benign growths- the prostate gland grows to squeeze the urethra, which it surrounds. These growths are usually noncancerous and rarely a threat.
  • Malignant growths– Cancerous growths that are life threatening.

A biopsy is required to determine which type of growth it is. 8 out of 10 tumors are found to be small and harmless, but if the growth is cancerous, the cells can begin to grow out of control and spread to other organs. 

Risk Factors

  • Age over 55 (peak age 65-74) years
  • Ethnicity: prostate cancer is more common in African Americans
  • Genetic/family history
  • Poor diet containing high amounts of fat
  • Smoking 
  • Drinking alcohol 
  • Obesity
  • Lack of exercise
  • Hormonal changes

Warning Signs Of Prostate Cancer

There are a number of different symptoms of prostate cancer. The 5 main warning signs include:

  • Bone pain
  • Compression of the spine
  • Painful urination
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Blood in urine or semen

    illustration of a man holding his lower back while hunched over
    Pain in the lower back is a warning sign of prostate cancer.

Other signs of prostate cancer include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Pain in the lower back, hips, or thighs
  • Anemia
  • Loss of bowel control

Diagnosis & Treatment

The word cancer itself is scary, but if prostate cancer is diagnosed early, most men can expect to live a normal life. Screening is the best way to detect prostate cancer, and is recommended for men who:

  • Are between 55 and 69 years of age
  • Are African American
  • Have a family history of prostate cancer

If cancerous cells or tumors are found, treatment will depend on the stage of the cancer, the age of the patient and their overall health. In the earlier stages, doctors will monitor the cells closely; for more advanced stages, treatment includes:

  • Surgery to remove the prostate gland
  • Radiation therapy
  • Cryotherapy to freeze and kill the cancerous cells
  • Drug therapy such as chemotherapy, which spreads throughout the body and destroys cancer cells. 

Medicare Coverage

Medicare will cover prostate cancer screenings every 12 months for men 50 and older. There are 2 types of exams:

  • Digital rectal exam – the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum. 
  • blood sample being put on a test

    PSA blood test – measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood.

Original Medicare will pay 80% of the yearly digital rectal exam, and 100% of the cost of the PSA blood test. Medicare will cover both inpatient and outpatient cancer treatment; Medicare Part A will fully cover inpatient hospital visits, but Medicare Part B will only cover 80% of costs for outpatient treatment. In order to get full coverage, you will need a Medicare Supplement Plan.

Most men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer will survive, as long as they catch it early on with annual screenings. If you are interested in a Medicare Supplement Plan to help pay for the cost of annual screenings and any treatments needed, EZ can compare plans in minutes for you. Our licensed agents will go over your needs and budget and find the plan that checks all of your boxes. To get free instant quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to an agent, call 888-753-7207.

Signs of Prostate Cancer That Are Dangerous To Ignore

The prostate is about the size of a walnut and wraps around the tube that carries urine out of the bladder in men. It grows larger, the older you get, but if it gets too large, then health issues can arise, including cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, and 1 in every 9 men will be diagnosed with it in their lifetime. Behind lung cancer, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in

blue ribbon with the words "prostate cancer" next to it.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. Knowing the signs can be crucial.

men. The first signs are not noticeable in the early stages of the disease, because there is no pain from the tumor. However, there are some symptoms you may experience that you should watch out for, and see your doctor if they arise.

Warning Signs

If your prostate is enlarged, then you will experience some common problems. These issues include:

  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Leaking when you laugh, or cough
  • Burning or pain when urinating
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Pain in the rectum, upper thighs, hips, or lower back
  • Weak stream
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Difficulty getting an erection
  • Not being able to stand up when urinating
  • Trouble starting or stopping a stream 
  • UTIs
hands in purple gloves writing on test tubes place don a green tray.
Regular screenings of your prostate is very important in finding issues early on.

Regular Screenings

Regular prostate cancer screenings are very important because you are more likely to catch a tumor early on before it

grows. Early detection is key to beating cancer. Once you are 50 years old, your risk of getting prostate cancer increases. It is more common among African American men and men who have a family history of prostate cancer.

Eat a healthy diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, and high-fat. If you experience any of the warning signs, schedule an appointment with your doctor to get screened. An enlarged prostate does not necessarily mean cancer, but it can raise concerns if it is not dealt with right away.

Are You Partaking in No Shave November?

Stop men dying too young. It happens too often and is not spoken about as it should be- prostate cancer. Men do not like to talk about their health or take action. That is until the Movember Foundation began in Australia in 2003. During Movember, a man or woman can partake in advocating for the benefit of other men. Movember was created in order to raise awareness for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s mental health issues. It is all about focusing on men’s health, finding a cure, and saving a life.


Movember is about raising awareness to men's health and prostate cancer.
Movember is about raising awareness to men’s health and prostate cancer. Growing a mustache and talking about it helps spread awareness.

You will begin to see a number if men growing out mustaches during the month of November. It has become a global known fundraiser that many people partake in now. The objective is for men who participate to  donate their faces and ask their family and friends to sponsor the cause. They then donate the money to the Movember foundation. Women can also participate in the movement by donating to a partner’s campaign, and/or running one of the Mo Sistas runs during November.


The Rules

The rules of Movember are pretty simple.

  1. Sign up at
  2. On November 1st, start with a clean shaven face.
  3. Begin growing your mustache, but no beard for the whole month. The mustache is supposed to be the topic of discussion. All other hair on your face should be trimmed or kept to a minimum.
  4. Make your mustache a conversation starter, and share the importance of Movember and why you are doing it. Spread awareness and inspire others to partake in the movement. Discuss the facts about men’s health issues that needs a spotlight: depression, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer.
  5. Send in your donations to the Movember foundation.

The Facts

  • Men are more likely to commit suicide than women, ranging about 75% of suicides in a year are by men.
  • Suicide is the most common death for men under the age of 35.
  • One in eight men will suffer from prostate cancer at some point in their life.
  • Almost 90% of testicular cancer happens to men under the age of 50.

    Too many young men die from depression, prostate and testicular cancer.
    Too many young men die from depression, prostate and testicular cancer. Movember hopes to find the cure and save lives.
  • 9% of men experience depression on a daily basis.

Men’s health is not often spoken about, especially with the focus on women’s breast and ovarian cancer. But since the Movember foundation began, it has been getting a lot of attention, and spreading awareness on men’s health. By the year 2030, the foundation hopes to reduce the number of premature deaths in men by 25%. During the month of November, take part in a great cause to help men around the world from dying too young. Make a difference with a small gesture of growing a mustache, sending in donations, or running in one of the Movember runs near you.