From Counting Days to Logging Miles
How one man overcame the odds
Dan Cosby is his own comeback story. You can find him most mornings walking the streets of Tampa, Fla., delivering food to the homeless. You would never know that the 64-year-old hit rock bottom 15 years ago.
Recently divorced, suffering a hernia injury and unable to work, Cosby found himself living out of his car. Inactivity and lack of healthy food led to obesity, topping out at 315 pounds, followed by high blood pressure and an eventual heart attack. At one point, he was even hospitalized with two cracked ribs, which he attributes to the extra pounds straining his frame.
"My activity level just ceased. I had suffered a hernia and I could not do any work," Cosby said.
When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, he could have given up entirely. In fact, more than half (52%) of people age 64 and up reported that their physical activity level has decreased since March 2020, according to a new survey by Humana. Yet, Cosby channeled his positive energy and found support in his friends, faith and health care network.
He connected with a Humana sales agent who helped him sign up for a Humana Medicare Advantage plan, finally giving him access to quality health care. Then, Skylar Griessel, a Humana health education facilitator got involved to help Cosby maximize his benefits and one small, unexpected thing became a great motivator.
Flipping through Humana's Over-the-Counter Health & Wellness Products catalog, a Fitbit fitness tracker caught Cosby's eye, and he ordered it. Once it was on his wrist, his focus went from counting days away to tracking the miles he walked and pounds he lost. He was shocked to see that his usual walk downtown while helping the homeless clocked four miles.
"Once I realized I could do one hundred miles a month and friends started noticing that I had been losing weight, I started walking more," said Cosby, who has since lost 75 pounds. "I started eating healthier and controlling my portions. Now I can set goals with my health, and I feel like I can do anything."
Beyond the support he received from Griessel, Cosby's Humana plan's benefits provided him the ability to make telehealth appointments with his doctor to help manage his health and ongoing chronic conditions from the safety of his home. He also appreciates the ability to find less expensive prescription drug options using Humana's Rx calculator tool.
Reflecting on his experiences, Cosby said, "I think the story of my life is basically, 'If I can do it, anyone can.' Throughout my life, despite the hardship, I've always felt I had angels with me every step of the way."
Older Americans like Cosby who choose Medicare Advantage plans can receive high-quality health care typically at lower costs than those only enrolled in fee-for-service Medicare. That's because Medicare Advantage's unique public-private structure creates an atmosphere of competition that spurs innovation that can help drive down costs and focus care on a person's whole health.
Medicare Advantage plans are often focused on coordinating care for those with multiple chronic conditions, helping lead to cost-effective interventions to address the unique health needs of aging and disabled Americans. In fact, in 2018, Medicare Advantage beneficiaries reported $1,640 less in total annual health spending on average than those in fee-for-service Medicare. And they often see better health outcomes — according to a 2018 report, Medicare Advantage beneficiaries experienced 33% fewer emergency room visits than those in fee-for-service Medicare.
Humana Medicare Advantage plans have exclusions and limitations and terms under which coverage may be continued or discontinued. For costs and complete details of Humana Medicare Advantage plans, call 1-800-213-5286 (TTY: 711) or write your Humana licensed insurance agent or the company.
Your results may vary. It may not be typical to improve health conditions by taking the actions Cosby did.
Humana Inc. is committed to helping our millions of medical and specialty members achieve their best health. Our successful history in care delivery and health plan administration is helping us create a new kind of integrated care with the power to improve health and well-being and lower costs. Our efforts are leading to a better quality of life for people with Medicare, families, individuals, military service personnel, and communities at large.