There are more than 180,000 residents in St. Louis County that receive Medicare benefits and the average age of those beneficiaries is 72. Chances are great that you or someone you know is using Medicare benefits and if you want to be able to understand your coverage, find doctors in your area, and get the most out of your benefits you can find resources both online and in St. Louis.
Medicare is a federal health care plan that is designed for those that are 65 or older as well as some younger people that have disabilities. It can also be used for those that have end-stage renal disease and need dialysis or a kidney transplant. Medicare has four parts that each have different coverage and services.
Part A manages hospital coverage. This means if you have to stay in the hospital or a skilled nursing facility it’s covered. It can also take care of hospice and certain home health care options.
Part B manages medical coverage. This means things like your doctor visits, any outpatient or preventative services you use, and some medical supplies you may need are covered.
Part C is what is called a Medicare Advantage Plan. You can use this to customize a healthcare plan with a private company who will cover Part A and B and allow you to use their prescription fee coverage.
Part D is additional coverage for prescriptions and can be added to both Part A and B.
St. Louis County spends $1.08 billion on total Medicare costs which come out to about $9,601 for each beneficiary.
There is an 18.61% hospital readmission rate in the county which is 1.84% higher than the national average.
St. Louis County has higher rates of arthritis, depression, and chronic kidney disease compared to national averages.
Type 2 diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and coronary heart disease are lower than national averages.
Inpatient care accounts for 36% of Medicare costs in the county and long-term care costs for each beneficiary is about $50,033.
In St. Louis, most Social Security offices will handle Medicare issues and questions. There are a few different locations in the area:
5669 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO (800) 772-1213 650 Missouri Ave., St Louis, MO (877) 700-4849 717 N. 16th St., #100, St. Louis, MO
There is also a regional office that is located in Kansas City. If you don’t want to drive all the way there, you can call or contact them through email.
Office of the Regional Administrator 601 E. 12th St., Suite 355 Kansas City, MO 64106 (303) 844-7481
You can also always find Medicare help online at their website Medicare.gov.
It’s actually fairly simple to locate a Medicare-approved provider in your area. All you have to do is plug in your specific information to the Physician Compare tool and you will be directed to a list of approved facilities and physicians. For example, a search of geriatric physicians within 25 miles of Saint Louis shows that there 60 health care professionals available in the area.
If you click on each entry, you will find even more information about that doctor or practice. You can find out where they are located, which hospitals and medical buildings they have privileges at, and see what kind of Medicare coverage they accept. You can also search for specific doctors or find care for specific conditions.
Medicare.gov also has search options for things like nursing homes, hospitals, dialysis centers, home health options, and much more.
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