Posts for category: Family Medicine
If you want to change your Medicare coverage now is the time.
Every year from October 15th until December 7th, Medicare has its Annual Fall Open Enrollment. This open enrollment only happens once a year and it allows everyone a chance to change, enroll or even disenroll from their Medicare Advantage or Part D plan. Our Brandon, FL, primary care physicians Drs. Joel & Elizabeth Biggers offer up this friendly reminder that the time to change your Medicare plan is now. Don’t deal with Medicare coverage that doesn’t offer what you need.
Here are some things you should know about Medicare’s Annual Fall Open Enrollment,
- It might sound obvious but if you are satisfied with your current plan then you don’t have to do anything during this time; however, because plans can change each year you may want to take some time to look over your current plan and other Medicare plans to ensure that any care and medication you receive from our Brandon, FL, doctors will still be covered in the upcoming year.
- If you’re interested in enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan this is the only time in which to do it. Along with enrolling yourself in a plan, you can also switch to another plan that can include prescription drug coverage.
- If you are someone who doesn’t need to take regular medication then the Advantage plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage may be better suited to your needs. The reverse is true for those who take long-term prescription medications. The Fall Open Enrollment is the only time that you can pick a new Advantage Part D plan, or prescription drug plan.
- If you want to sign up for Medicare, October 15th through December 7th is the only time to do this. Annual Fall Enrollment Period and Open Enrollment Period (which occurs January 1st through March 31st) should not be confused. The Open Enrollment Period only allows pre-existing Medicare Advantage Members to make a one-time change.
- You can enroll in a new plan simply by calling 1-800-MEDICARE. Working with Medicare directly will ensure that you get the coverage and plan you want. Make sure to write down the date and name of the representative that helped you. Confirm all the details of your new plan with Medicare to make sure you understand the plan fully before enrolling.
Here at Biggers Family Medicine in Brandon, FL, your health comes first. We want healthcare to be affordable for everyone. Whether you have questions about your Medicare coverage or you need to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to call us.
With flu season right around the corner have you gotten your flu shot yet?
It’s that time of the year again—flu season—and our Brandon, FL, primary care physicians Drs. Joel & Elizabeth Biggers want their patients to know the importance and benefits of getting their families vaccinated against the flu. Just because you got a flu shot last year doesn’t mean that it will be effective this year.
Here are some of the benefits of getting the annual flu vaccine,
This is the most obvious and probably one of the most important benefits of getting the flu shot this year. The flu season last year was the worst one in decades, killing around 80,000 people and causing a large number of hospitalizations, according to the CDC. Therefore, it’s important that anyone 6 months and older get the flu vaccine before the end of October to ensure that their body is ready and able to fully protect against this potentially dangerous infection.
Prevent Health Complications
Those dealing with other chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and chronic lung disease have to be particularly careful, as they can be more susceptible to serious complications as a result of the flu. A simple flu vaccine can protect your body and also provide peace of mind.
Save Money and Prevent Invasive Treatments
Last year’s flu season was no joke and we have no idea what this flu season might bring, but why wait to find out? A simple vaccine only takes a couple of minutes and is far less invasive than hospitalizations and certain treatments that you might need if you develop complications from or a serious bout of the flu (not to mention that it’s far less expensive).
Protect Others in Your Community
Babies, young children and those with certain health problems may not be able to vaccinate. Therefore, the best way to protect these individuals from the flu is for healthy individuals to get vaccinated. The more people get vaccinated the less risk there will be for those who can’t get vaccinated to catch the flu.
Remember that it takes two weeks for your body to develop immunity to the flu after getting vaccinated so the sooner you vaccinate yourself and your loved ones the better. Call Biggers Family Medicine in Brandon, FL, today to schedule flu shots for the whole family.
Here’s what to expect when you address your anxiety with our Brandon, FL, physicians.
Despite anxiety disorder being one of the most common mental illnesses in the US today, it isn’t always an easy topic to discuss. While everyone will feel bouts of anxiety at times, when these symptoms are persistent or severe in effect, then they can really take a toll on one's wellbeing. Fortunately, anxiety disorders are highly treatable. Here at Biggers Family Medicine in Brandon, FL, our primary care physicians, Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers, are here to help you get your anxiety under control.
Don’t Be Afraid
Is the thought of talking about your anxiety with your doctor making you feel...well, anxious? This isn’t something to be worried about. At Biggers Family Medicine, our goal is to make sure that every patient feels welcomed and comfortable when walking through our office. From offering a safe environment to having doctors and a medical team that are warm, understanding, and knowledgeable, we pride ourselves on offering quality and individualized care to patients living in and around the Brandon, FL, area.
Some people worry that the only option for treating anxiety is medication and, as a result, often don’t bring up their concerns. Accordingly, it’s important to know that medication isn’t the only way to manage your anxiety—there are a variety of lifestyle changes that you are able to try first and alternative treatment options that you can turn to in order to alleviate your anxiety. When you come into our office, we will ask you questions about your family/personal medical history, any illnesses or health problems that you might have, and your history of anxiety to figure out the best methods for treating your anxiety.
How We Can Help You
It is important to communicate with us about the ways in which you would like to treat your anxiety. For instance, if you would like to avoid medication, there are a variety of natural approaches to try instead. Our doctors can offer advice on everything from meditation and better sleep habits to proper nutrition and breathing exercises, all of which can improve your anxiety. We can create a lifestyle adjustment plan that can help you see results.
If your anxiety is severe or if lifestyle changes aren’t offering much relief, then your doctor may recommend an anti-anxiety medication. Medication isn’t a quick fix, and it’s important that you also find a therapist that you can openly talk to about your issues with anxiety. Therapy has helped many patients figure out what’s causing their anxiety and to provide helpful strategies and techniques for combating these symptoms both before and when they do arise. We are happy to provide you with therapist referrals if needed!
You don’t have to struggle with anxiety—call Biggers Family Medicine in Brandon, FL, today at (813) 655-4646 to seek treatment.
The Importance of Annual Checkups
Seeing the doctor for an annual checkup plays a major role in keeping people healthy. By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, you're taking steps that increase your chances of having a long, healthy life. Biggers Family Medicine, at our new location at 538 Wilbur Street in Brandon, FL, offers a complete range of health care services to the patients they serve. Read on to find out why annual checkups with Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers are so important.
The annual checkup can help find problems early, when your chances for treatment are better. During your visit, your doctor will assess your general health. They will check your heartbeat and breathing sounds with a stethoscope. Your doctor may take your blood pressure readings and examine your head, neck, tonsils, thyroid, lymph nodes, and abdomen. Your doctor may also order laboratory tests, such as a complete blood count (CBC) and urinalysis.
Continuity of Records
Your healthcare provider will have records of all the care you have received there. and will be able to provide those medical records if you need them. And because the doctor has your medical records, they can remind you when you need immunizations, a mammogram, colonoscopy, or other screenings.
The annual checkup is a good time for a review of the over-the-counter and prescription medications you're taking. Bring all your medications to your visit, so your doctor can help you determine whether you need to be taking every one of them. Your doctor will also write prescriptions for any medications you need and give you refills for prescriptions that are about to run out.
Annual check-ups are important to receive counseling based on your family health history and your lifestyle. Asking questions is key to good communication with your healthcare provider. Being truthful about your smoking and/or drinking habit gives your doctor the information they need to provide the appropriate counseling to maximize your health.
To keep your health on track, visit Biggers Family Medicine at our new location at 538 Wilbur St in Brandon, FL. Call (813) 655-4646 to schedule your annual checkup. And our new fax number: (855) 366-8430. Your health is your most valuable possession. An annual exam is the best thing you can do for yourself this year!
From the flu to seasonal allergies, it isn’t always an easy call to figure out when you can handle your symptoms yourself and when you may have to turn to our Brandon, FL, primary care physicians Drs. Joel & Elizabeth Biggers for care. Read on to gain some guidance on this issue, and give our office a call if you need any treatment!
More about Acute Diseases
An acute disease is one that will often go away on its own either without treatment or with rest and at-home care. Here are some of the most common acute diseases that occur in both children and adults:
- Common cold
- Gastroenteritis (“stomach bug”)
- Upper respiratory infections (e.g. bronchitis; pneumonia)
- Strep throat
- Urinary tract infections
- Ear infection
Sometimes you won’t really know what’s going on but you may be able to pinpoint the symptoms you are experiencing. Common symptoms of acute diseases include,
- Runny or stuffed nose
- Facial pain and pressure
- Coughing and sneezing
- Trouble breathing
- Sore throat
- Pain when swallowing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Skin rash
- Body aches
If you or your little one is experiencing any of these symptoms and you are concerned, it’s a good idea to call our office in Brandon, FL. That way, you can tell us what’s going on and we will be able to assess the symptoms to determine whether it’s worth making a trip into our office as soon as possible.
You should see a doctor right away for care if,
- You have a cough that lasts more than 10 days
- Your symptoms get worse
- You are experiencing chest pain (this could be a medical emergency)
- You have a high fever
- There is blood in your stool or vomit
- You are experiencing symptoms of dehydration
- Your ear pain is severe or accompanied by hearing loss or changes in your hearing
- You are wheezing or experiencing shortness of breath
- You are experiencing severe abdominal pain
- You have burning or pain with urination
- You have lost weight suddenly and unexpectedly
- You have diarrhea that has lasted more than 2 days
If in doubt, give our office a call and explain the symptoms that you are experiencing. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you will experience relief. Call our medical team here at Biggers Family Medicine in Brandon, FL, today to schedule an immediate appointment for you or your little one. Our number is (813) 655-4646.