As we get older (and wiser), access to healthcare resources becomes a greater necessity. Fortunately, seniors in Florida who are 65 and up can receive some of the best medical assistance and Medicare programs in the country.
Let’s talk about some of the key Medicare programs which can be beneficial to you, some of the main medical assistance programs that can help you stretch your dollar, and where you can go near you in Florida for comprehensive medical care that accepts Medicare coverage.
Medicare and Other Medical Assistance in Florida
If you are 65 or older and are a U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident who has lived in the United States for more than five years, you may be eligible for Medicare in Florida. This coverage also applies to those who are under age 65 and are either disabled, receiving disability benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board, have end-stage renal disease, or have ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).
If you are already receiving Social Security benefits, you are automatically enrolled in “Original Medicare,” which is divided into two parts. Medicare Part A covers hospital stays, and Medicare Part B covers doctor’s visits and outpatient services.
If you wish to also have coverage for prescriptions, you must purchase Medicare Part D drug coverage separately, from a private insurance company. In addition, you can purchase a Medicare Supplement plan that helps cover areas that are not covered by Original Medicare, such as deductibles and co-pays.
An alternative option for those who are eligible for Medicare is a Medicare Advantage plan. This rolls Parts A and B into one plan and often includes Part D drug coverage as well as vision, dental, and/or hearing coverage.
You or an eligible loved one can obtain Medicare in Florida by contacting a nearby Social Security office during your Initial Enrollment Period for Medicare, which occurs from three months before you turn 65 until three months after your 65th birthday. If you miss this window, you can enroll for Medicare during the General Enrollment Period at the next January 1 to March 31 timeframe. You can apply for Medicare Advantage or a Medicare Part D plan when you first get Medicare, or during the Annual Open Enrollment Period of October 15 to December 7.
You can speak to a patient relations outreach representative who can help you with your Medicare application and plan selection, as well as work with ACCESS Florida representatives to streamline the process for you.
ACCESS Florida Financial Assistance Programs
In addition to Medicare, programs that are accessible via ACCESS Florida include:
- Medicaid: This federal and state public health insurance program is designed to reduce healthcare costs and improve access to medical care for low-income adults, children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with disabilities.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): This federal and state food-assistance program provides nutritional support for low-income seniors, individuals, and families, as well as those with disabilities who are living on fixed incomes. Someone who is on the SNAP program will receive EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cards that work like debit cards to buy nutritious food. These cards cannot be used to purchase alcohol, tobacco products, supplements, or medicine.
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): This state program provides monthly cash assistance to needy families to help them become self-sufficient. This assistance can last for up to 2 years for an adult.
Medicare Providers in Lakeland, Florida
At Palm Medical Centers, located in Lakeland and throughout Central Florida and South Florida, we are affiliated with ACCESS Florida – which enables us to assist recipients in a wide variety of social and government programs aimed at providing lower-cost yet top-quality healthcare. ACCESS is an acronym for “automated community connection to economic self-sufficiency,” which aptly describes the program’s purpose.
To discover all of the benefits of becoming one of our patients – and what it means to truly receive comprehensive healthcare – call Palm Medical Centers today at (833) 500-PALM (7256). We have 26 clinics across Central Florida and South Florida, so there is bound to be a Palm Medical Centers location near you, where we would be happy to give you a tour of our medical clinic and wellness center. We look forward to serving you!