With advances in medical technology and pharmaceutical solutions, people are living longer than ever. Right now, there are close to 600 million senior citizens in the world, a number that will continue to grow.
Access to quality healthcare aids in promoting longevity, and as people get older, the need for quality seniors health insurance grows. When shopping for health insurance, senior citizens have a number of options; but finding the right coverage can be tricky.
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Statistics on an Aging Population
- In 2010, there were 40 million people 65 and older living in the U.S.
- By 2030, the 65+ population will grow to over 72 million people
- Only 11% of elderly people participate in exercise to strengthen muscles
- 38% of senior citizens are obese
Health Insurance: Senior Citizens Have Options
If you are 65 or older, you have a few different ways to obtain senior medical insurance. With the rising cost of healthcare, having just one plan may not be sufficient to provide the coverage you need.
As you age, you are increasingly prone to disease and injury, so it’s important that you are properly insured. Many adult children assist aging parents in the search for seniors health insurance, so understanding the options is essential for everyone involved.
The following are some of the most common options for senior medical insurance:
- Private health insurance
- Medicare supplemental insurance
Each of these is described in more detail below.
Medicare: The Most Popular Senior Medical Insurance Plan
Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people ages 65 and older. It can also cover younger people who have disabilities or severe health conditions. It is divided up into four different parts.
- Medicare Part A, also known as hospital insurance, is designed to cover hospitalization and home healthcare. This is free if you’ve worked for 10+ years and have paid social security taxes. You will need to fill out an application for Medicare in order to be covered.
- Medicare Part B includes medical insurance. This will cover a range of medical services like doctor’s visits and annual check-ups, mental-health care and X-rays. As with all plans, there are coverage limits, and this option isn’t free. The annual premium for Part B is $104.90 and the deductible is $147.00 (as of 2015). You are automatically enrolled when you become eligible for social security.
- Medicare Part C is known as Medicare Advantage. It allows you to get Medicare coverage through private companies. The benefit of Medicare Part C is that it often provides better coverage, but you must have Part A and B to be considered eligible. Costs vary according to state and providers.
- Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs. You don’t have to enroll in this part of Medicare, but if you take medications regularly, it might be a good idea for you to consider it. This plan comes with a monthly premium based on the coverage amount.
Medicaid: Senior Medical Insurance for the Disadvantaged
This federal program provides medical insurance for low income seniors. It is often used in conjunction with Medicare. Medicaid helps those in need by providing coverage for certain medical services and prescriptions that Medicare may not.
There is an application process you’ll need to go through, and you will need to meet certain income limitations in order to qualify. If you do qualify for Medicaid, it’s a good way to ensure that you have the quality senior citizen health insurance you need.
Private Health Insurance: Supplement Your Senior Medical Insurance
If cost isn’t a factor and you are trying to find health insurance for elderly parents, be aware that a private health insurance plan can be paired with Medicare.
This is a good way to make sure you have sufficient coverage as Medicare does have limitations. An independent insurance agent can help you review your private plan to understand any exclusions on that policy so that you can avoid gaps in coverage.
Medicare Supplemental Insurance
Medicare supplemental health insurance, called “Medigap,” is meant to provide coverage for the things that Medicare doesn’t cover. To qualify for Medigap, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
Your Medigap coverage will help cover excess costs, such as co-insurance costs for stays in the hospital or a nursing facility, and even the deductibles in your Part A and Part B Medicare plans. You can find this plan through private insurers and organizations that cater to the elderly. Costs will vary according to coverage.
Buying the Right Health Insurance for Elderly People
With the various options that are available and the many coverage combinations you can obtain, finding the right seniors health insurance can be difficult. This is why it is to your advantage to work with an independent insurance agent in our network.
An experienced independent agent will be able to answer your questions about senior medical insurance and will be able to provide you with quotes and information from a variety of suitable insurers.
Your agent may even be able to help you save money on the other insurance policies you carry as well. Find an agent near you to begin reviewing seniors health insurance policies that are right for you.