If you’re a senior in retirement, you’ve probably thought about health care. Many older people in Irvine and Orange County rely on Medicare for their health care needs. In fact, over 400,000 individuals in the county rely on Medicare. If you require assistance with your benefits, finding services or providers, or just want to learn more about this program, online resources, as well as local offices, can help.
Medicare is a federally funded health care plan for seniors that are 65 and older as well as certain individuals that have disabilities. Medicare comes in four parts, and each part offers different coverage.
Part A handles all inpatient services. Hospital stays, skilled nursing facilities, as well as hospice care and some home health care, fall under this category.
Part B handles medical services. Doctor’s appointments, preventative services, outpatient care, and medical equipment fall under this category.
Part C is called the Medicare Advantage Plan. This plan allows private insurance companies to cover Part A and B expenses and offer beneficiaries their prescription coverage.
Part D is additional prescription coverage for Original Medicare.
Of the 411,226 beneficiaries in Orange County, 200,569 are fee-for-service, and 210,657 use the Medicare Advantage Plan.
Orange County has a per capita cost of $10,880 for each recipient. The national per capita rate is $9,501.
High cholesterol, osteoporosis, and arthritis are three conditions Orange County beneficiaries have higher rates of compared to national rates.
The most prevalent condition is high blood pressure.
Inpatient care takes up most Medicare spending in the county.
California is a part of Region 9 for Medicare services, and the office for that group is in San Francisco. You can find information for almost all Medicare needs online, but if you would like to speak in-person with someone, you can visit the local Social Security Office. For Irvine, the closest office is in Mission Viejo, and they can help you apply for benefits, file an appeal, or get a new Medicare card.
Mission Viejo Social Security Office
26051 Acero Road
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
You can take Alicia Parkway North to find the office, but the 86 bus also stops right outside the building. The office encourages appointments, so you don’t have to wait long for assistance, and they are open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4 pm, and 9 am to 12 pm on Wednesdays.
Medicare.gov makes it easy to find both providers and services in your area. The Physician Compare tool allows you to enter criteria and then find doctors or practices that fit your needs. A search of family practices in the area yielded over 200 results. You can refine your search to a different specialty or change the Medicare acceptance to a fee-for-service choice.
This tool also allows you to learn more about each doctor in the search. Just click the name, and you can see their office location and which hospital gives them privileges. You can also find out more about their board certifications and education.
If you need to find a nursing home, Nursing Home Compare is a similar tool. There are 85 nursing homes in a 25-mile radius of Irvine that accept Medicare. You can compare up to three facilities at a time and see their overall ratings, health inspections, and quality measures. Other search tools include ones for home health care, rehabilitation services, dialysis centers, and medical equipment.
Find assisted living in Irvine near you.