If you’re a senior in Durham, you might be wondering how to pay for your health care. Many older adults use Medicare, and in Durham County, there are over 37,000 recipients. If you don’t know anything about Medicare or you’re trying to find services and providers, there are some local and online resources to help your search.
Here is an overview of Medicare and what it covers. It is a federally funded health care program for seniors 65 and older as well as some others that have certain disabilities. Medicare has four parts, each covering something different.
Part A is for inpatient services such as staying in a nursing home or hospital. In some cases, it includes hospice care and in-home health services.
Part B is for things like doctor’s appointments and outpatient care. It also covers medical supplies, if needed and preventative services.
Part C is the Medicare Advantage Plan. This plan has your private insurance cover Part A and B services.
The company can also offer their prescription plan.
Part D is for additional prescription coverage under Original Medicare.
Total Medicare costs in Durham County are $251 million and have increased 16.4% between 2007 and 2014.
The cost per recipient is $9,598 which is only slightly higher than the national average of $9,501.
The median age for beneficiaries in Durham County is 70.
The most prevalent condition in the county is high blood pressure followed by high cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes.
Inpatient care takes up the most Medicare money, and skilled nursing facilities come in fourth.
You have a few options for Medicare help in and around Durham. North Carolina is part of Region 4, and the regional office for that area is in Atlanta. Locally, the Social Security Office can take care of Medicare needs. Seniors can get in-person help with applying for benefits, filing an appeal, or getting a new Medicare card.
Durham Social Security Office
3511 Shannon Road
Durham, NC 27707
This office is inside the Valley View Office Building near MLK Parkway. The hours each day are 9 am to 4 pm except for Wednesdays when the office closes at noon. They are closed Saturday and Sunday and recommend you make an appointment so you can get service as soon as you get there.
When you start looking for a doctor or service that is Medicare-approved, start with some of their search tools. Physician Compare helps you locate the practices and physicians in your area that accept Medicare. A search for geriatric medicine in Durham came back with 35 results within a 10-mile radius. You can change the search filters and widen or narrow your search for what you need.
If you click on the name or practice in this tool, you can learn more information such as the office address and what type of Medicare they accept. You can also see the board certifications for each doctor and see if they have hospital privileges nearby.
Another useful search tool is the Nursing Home Compare. It’s like Physician Compare, but you can look at the differences in nursing homes in the area. In Durham, there are 23 homes in a 25-mile radius. Each entry contains information on health inspections, overall ratings, and quality standards. You can also look for approved in-home care, medical supplies, and rehabilitation services through Medicare.gov.
Find assisted living in Durham near you.