Seniors citizens today have access to advanced medical facilities. But availability of improved medical care works only when seniors also have access to the right health insurance plans.
There are many options when choosing health insurance for senior citizens. But there are also a number of variables and factors to consider when buying the right plan; otherwise, it can be difficult to avail of the full benefits of your health insurance. To find the best health insurance for senior citizens, you must consider health needs and income.
As you age, you are more susceptible to injuries and diseases. The cost of healthcare is also rising every year. So, it is very important to consider all options for health insurance before buying a plan.
Different Health Insurance Options for the Elderly
For the senior population (65 or older), there are various health insurance plans available.
Seniors can avail of this federal scheme for health insurance by opting for one or more of the Medicare plans: parts A to D. Part A is free for seniors who have worked for minimum 10 years and have paid towards social security benefits. It covers healthcare at home and also hospitalization. But this may not be enough for all seniors. So, you can also buy medical insurance through Part B. It covers doctor visits, annual health checkups, and some lab tests. It is not a free plan. You will need to pay a premium and the deductible. The deductible is subject to change.
If you have enrolled for both parts A and B, you get the option to buy additional coverage through private companies under part C. Part D is for prescription medicines, which you can buy for a monthly premium.
It is also a federal scheme but only for seniors with low income. It can cover healthcare aspects not included in Medicare. You will need to meet the income requirement to qualify for Medicaid.
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Private health insurance
If Medicare is not sufficient to meet your healthcare needs, you can buy private insurance also. You can buy it even if you wish to use Medicare plans. You can purchase a private plan based on your affordability.
Medicare supplemental insurance
This plan is also referred to as Medigap. If you are enrolled in both parts A and B then you can apply for supplemental insurance. It can cover costs of co-insurance and deductibles. It is available through private companies and will cost you as per the plan you buy.
Factors to Consider Before Buying Health Insurance
The cost of health insurance for senior citizens may differ based on the plan as well as the state’s offerings. To find affordable health insurance for senior citizens, it is a good idea to consider all state and federal plans and associated costs before you pay for additional coverage through private companies.
- The cost of your monthly premium
- The deductible amount
- Additional costs (co-insurance, copays)
- The coverage
- Your health needs (pre-existing conditions, necessary care, homecare, assisted-living etc.)
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Seniors who were in the armed forces and were honorably discharged can also consider health plans offered by Veterans Administration (VA) for themselves and their spouses. Veterans can buy additional coverage through VA even when they have Medicare. Those who are not yet 65 may have hard time finding affordable health insurance for senior citizens. They may need to buy private health insurance for senior citizens or apply for an extension of their employer-sponsored health coverage, if applicable.