If you or a loved one is age 65 or over and a U.S. citizen, you are eligible for Medicare. The federal insurance is available in four parts, however the different plans can seem daunting. Tampa offers agencies and other resources to help you get the information you need, enroll in the program, and change plans when required.
Medicare consists of four parts. Part A – (hospital insurance) covers hospitalizations, skilled nursing, hospice, and home health care.
Part B – (medical insurance) covers lab tests, x-rays, durable medical equipment, ambulance services, and physician visits.
Part C – (private insurance companies partnering with Medicare) allows HMOs and PPOs to be available to you.
Part D – (outpatient prescription drug coverage) covers medication purchased from a specialty or retail pharmacy for a low copay amount.
The total cost of Medicare spending in Florida was $24 billion in 2014.
Florida was home to 3.82 million Medicare beneficiaries in 2014.
Hillsborough County was home to 195,626 Medicare beneficiaries in 2014.
The county had a total Medicare cost of $1.12 billion in 2014.
The average age of a Medicare beneficiary in Hillsborough County is 71.
35 percent of Medicare spending in the county goes to inpatient care.
10 percent of Medicare spending in the county goes to home health care.
10 percent of Medicare spending in the county goes to skilled nursing care.
Medicare, just like Social Security, is a federal program. Since there are only 10 regional hubs in the country for Medicare, you can conduct business at the local Social Security Administration (SSA) office located at 4010 Gunn Highway, Suite 100 in Tampa. The office is open Monday through Friday 9AM to 4PM with the exceptions of closing at 12PM on Wednesdays. You can call the SSA’s toll-free phone number to learn about more office locations in Hillsborough County. The number is 1-800-772-1213.
The staff at the office can help you enroll for Medicare, make changes to your plans, update your information, and replace a lost or stolen card.
If you prefer to manage your claims online, you can create an account on MyMedicare.gov. You can enroll for Medicare, make changes and update information, clarify your costs, file claims and appeals, and more. The site offers resources to help manage your health. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE for general information.
To avoid high fees and unnecessary medical costs, you should use providers that accept Medicare. You can find physicians and other health care professionals through the Medicare.gov website’s Physician Compare tool. This online resource provides physician search results within a few miles of your location. You can customize the search to include other towns within Hillsborough County or parts of Florida.
Using the search tool, you can find 78 family practice health providers and 13 geriatric care physicians within 15 miles of Tampa.
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