Health & Medical Insurance in the Tampa Bay Area
As one of the largest cities in Florida, the Tampa Bay area is just as concerned with health as any other Florida city. Sun, sand, and a walkable city make it easy to stay in shape and enjoy the outdoors, of which many residents already take advantage. Group activity is also a big trend in the region, with running clubs, bike training groups, and even local sports clubs. And to support the healthy, active lifestyle of sunny Tampa, there are an array of organic and natural food stores and restaurants offering healthy options.
As for medical insurance in Tampa, there are still an unfortunate number of uninsureds – as Florida has a pretty steep number of people without health coverage. Currently, there are more than 3.8 million uninsured residents in Florida. And despite the number of healthy people in Florida, obesity has increased steadily to affect an incredible 27 percent of the population. This emphasizes the definitive need for health care and coverage, and health reform cannot come soon enough. At the moment, private health insurance is one of the main reasons why people lack coverage. Once the laws change and the state Exchange is created, Floridians will have much more care at their fingertips.
Presently in the private Tampa Bay health insurance market, there are several companies offering plans including Aetna, who is the top choice if you have a health problem, Coventry, Cigna, UnitedHealthcare, and Humana. Rates among these carriers vary based on your age, health, and other factors, but for a quick reference, a 38-year-old male Tampa resident can purchase a comprehensive $2500 plan for $140 per month at minimum from Coventry. Cigna and Aetna also offer very similar plans right in this range for this resident. So, for between $140-150 per month, it is possible to get unlimited office visits and generic prescriptions for a copay and a reasonable deductible to meet. Some of these health plans even include programs to help you stay healthy.
Living Well and Paying Less
To keep your health insurance working in your favor, utilize the various benefits you receive from your plan, such as preventive care and wellness programs. Rewards programs are offered in Tampa through insurers like Humana, who offer discounted rates on eye care, gym memberships, and various tools to help you gain healthy behaviors.
Your health plan can help you quit smoking, lose weight, and stay fit for a lower price, just by using your membership card. Check your plan’s website for specific details on which products they discount. Other tools are also available through health plan sites, such as tools to track your weight, and various nutrition apps. Though you can seek these out on your own, it is also a nice, complementary feature coming from something you already pay for.
Reducing your health insurance premiums will soon have nothing to do with your health, but your medical costs will always be related to how well you take care of yourself. Stay healthy, finding beneficial activities and foods you enjoy, and your body and finances will both be grateful. Good health is something we unnecessarily place a high price tag on in many cases, but there are still many low-cost alternatives for healthiness.
Being outdoors in the Tampa Bay Area doesn’t just mean heading to the beach. There are many options to keep you enthused about your local outlets for physical activity. Exercising in the gym can get incredibly tedious and boring, which means it’s time for something new. Introduce yourself to Tampa’s trails, or make your own trail on a walk or jog around a fun neighborhood. If you find yourself losing interest in being active, try one of these ideas to brighten your outlook.
From the tropical lushness of Flatwoods Park among many other nature preserves with great trails, you can take a break from city life and exercise among the trees. Trails are paved and natural for whatever your preference, and you can enjoy some of the outdoor beauty of the Gulf Coast without straying too far from home. Shade often sounds like a welcome idea after many walks on the beach, and nature trails are one of the best ways to switch up your outdoor workout routine – or just get one started. Each of these locations has received 4-5 stars from All Trails.
- Lettuce Lake Regional Park Loop: Tampa, FL
- Weedon Island Preserve Trail: St. Petersburg, FL
- Upper Tampa Bay Trail: Tampa, FL
- Balm – Boyette Scrub Loop: Lithia, FL
- Alafia River Corridor Nature Preserve: Plant City, FL
Though the Florida lands are flat, there are still several great trails to satisfy the Tampa mountain biker. Area parks include Alafia State Park and Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve, and offer a range of trails from beginner level to difficult and technical. With a variety of trails to choose from, you can either start a new hobby or maintain a long-established passion in the Tampa Bay area. This sport offers an excellent chance to build strength, endurance, and work out a fair percentage of your muscle groups.
- Balm – Boyette Scrub Loop: Lithia, FL
- Morris Bridge Park: Thonotosassa, FL
- Alafia State Park Trail: Lithia, FL
- Old Fort King Trail: Thonotosassa, FL
- Datsko Park Bike Trail: Clearwater, FL
Of course, you can ocean kayak in the Gulf, but you can also enjoy a sightseeing trip along the Hillsborough River, the Tampa Bay, fresh water springs, and mangroves throughout the area. This upper-body workout builds strength while distracting you with sights of all sorts. You can rent for a day or buy one, but they are great ways to get outside with friends, or by yourself, for a healthy paddle through the water.
- Hillsborough River: 15402 U.S. 301 North, Thonotosassa, FL
- Little Manatee River: 215 Lightfoot Road, Wimauma, FL
- Rainbow Springs: 18185 SW 94th Street, Dunnellon, FL
- Alafia River: 14326 South County Road 39, Lithia, FL
The year-round summer climate allows for indoor and outdoor swimming in both pools and open water. Whether you prefer swimming laps alone or with a group, you can find an outlet for the strokes of your choice around Tampa. Use the pool at your apartment or condo complex, try the local Y, or the Bobby Hicks Pool for local swimming. In both St. Petersburg and Clearwater, you can find triathalon groups who swim out in the open, if you feel like getting either motivated or obsessed.
- St. Pete Mad Dogs Triathalon Club: St. Petersburg, FL
- Outspokin: Clearwater, FL
- Bobby Hicks Park: 4120 W Mango Ave, Tampa, FL. (813) 832-1216.
Become a tree, a dog, a lizard, a child, and about a hundred other things while getting a great workout in your neighborhood. There are an abundance of yoga studios in the Tampa Bay region, so we searched for the top-rated, stress-relieving workout facilities in the area. According to CBS Tampa Bay, these are the best places to get yourself and your family fit, flexible, and happy with yoga classes. Any skill level can try these studios out, and classes are fairly cheap. You can even bring the kids to a few.
- The Lotus Room: 1101 W. Kennedy Blvd., (813) 254-6777.
- Bella Prana Yoga and Meditation Studio: 2408 S. Macdill Ave., (813) 407-2140.
- Yogani Studios: 1112 W. Platt St.,(813) 251-9668.
- Treehouse Yoga: 8509 29th St., (813) 932-5456.
- Jai Dee Yoga: 5803 N. Florida Ave., (813) 231-2300.
Tampa obviously has some excellent dining opportunities, but residents need to make sure they’re getting the most out of their food when they do eat at a restaurant. Healthy, organic eateries and food stores are in no shortage throughout Tampa, whether you’re looking for vegetarian options or just cooking a nutrient-rich meal at home. If you haven’t already, try switching up your shopping and eating habits with some of these healthy options. Working out and eating right go hand-in-hand for creating a balanced lifestyle of wellness.
- Chuck’s Natural Food Marketplace: Healthy, organic, grocery with a delicious cafe. 11301 N 56th St, Temple Terrace, (813) 980-2005.
- Abby’s Health & Nutrition: Rated the Best of North Tampa and Carrolwood, this grocery carries just about everything organic and healthy, and offers tools and tips for living well. 14374 N Dale Mabry Hwy, (813) 265-4951.
- Tampa Bay Farmers Market: Support local farmers and buy fresh produce and other foods. Unlike other cities, Tampa has a year-round farmers market that’s open every day.623 S. Macdill Ave. (813) 876-7888.
- Rollin Oats Market & Cafe: Natural market plus the Oats Cafe, which serves hot bar options in Tampa and all-day food in St. Pete. 1021 N Macdill Ave, (813) 873-7428.
- The Grass Root Life: Offering rotating weekly menus and delivery, they serve raw, plant-based dishes as well as nutrient-packed main courses. 4334 S Manhattan Ave, (813) 839-7668.
- Evos: Burgers, wraps, salads, shakes, and more ethical, organic deliciousness. 609 S Howard Ave, (813) 258-3867.
- Pizza Fusion: Organic ingredients, sustainable practices, and incredible pizza, salad, and sandwiches. 9556 W Linebaugh Ave, (813) 792-1516.
- Bamboozle Cafe: Organic, Asian-inspired healthy food for meat-eaters, gluten intolerance, veggies, and vegans. 516 N Tampa St., (813) 223-7320.