Health insurance for senior citizens is an absolute necessity. If ever there is a time in our lives that we need health care insurance, it’s when we reach our golden years. That’s when our skin gets thinner, and we get cut easily. I get cuts on my arms and hands, and I have now idea how it happened. That’s not because my memory is failing me. It’s because the older I become the thinner my skin has gotten. To make matters worse these cuts take longer than they used to, to heal. Bottom line is our bodies are not what they used to be, and neither is our health.
We baby boomers have been hit by the proverbial double whammy. First we are expected to live longer, after we retire, than our predecessors did. 15 to 20 years longer in fact. This is where the whammy factor rears it’s ugly head. The reason we are living longer is because modern medicine is keeping us alive longer. But, at the same time, the cost of healthcare is increasing at a rate equal to the rate of inflation.
I can’t lay all the blame for this predicament on the health care system. But I do find it ironic that the health care system provides us with a means to live longer, and then charges us through the nose to take advantage of their services. The bottom line is this, one reason most of us are not prepared for retirement, is because we are not able to pay for health care. And here we are, at the time of our lives where we are in the most need of the health care system.
Our prime source of health care insurance.
At one time health care insurance was part of the pension plans that our parents received when they retired. Now the pension plans have pretty much vanished. They have been replaced by 401(K), and IRA accounts, and a health care plan was never meant to be included in individual retirement accounts.
Now we’ve got Medicare. Most of us participate in Medicare Part A, and Part B. And hope and pray with all the faith that the lord has granted us, that we stay healthy. That’s because Medicare Part A and Part B is woefully inadequate. And that’s a shame because we have to pay for Part B coverage.
Medicare Part A covers hospitalization, and home health care. Part B covers doctor visits and annual check-ups, mental-health care and X-rays. Part B cost us $104.90 annually, and has a deductible of $147.00.
There is additional Medicare coverage available. Part C allows us to get health care insurance through private companies. Now we’re talking. With Part C we can get adequate health care insurance. The premium cost is contingent upon the private health care provider.
Part D provides prescription drug coverage. This cost extra.
Other sources for health care coverage.
Medicaid; This is a federally sponsored insurance plan for those of us who fall into the low income category. It covers certain medical services and prescriptions that Medicare may not cover. To qualify we need to meet the income restrictions.
Private Health Insurance; First of all I must mention that this insurance coverage may, very likely, not be cheap. But if we can afford the premium, the coverage can be excellent. It is best that we decide what type of coverage best suits our situation, and then go get competitive bids. We must make sure that the insurance company who we end up dealing with, truly earns our business.
Medicare Supplemental Insurance; Once again this type of insurance works in conjunction with Medicare, and it is called Medigap. Since Medicare has so many holes in it’s coverage, Medigap is designed to fill the holes that we desire filling. There are several different types of Medigap plans, so we should be able to find the plan that best suits our situation.
To purchase a Medigap plan we must first be enrolled in a Medicare Part A and B plan. A Medigap plan may be purchased from an private agent. And cost is determined by the extent of coverage.
Things we need to consider before purchasing additional health care coverage.
Most of us boomers don’t have a money tree growing our back yard. Therefore when we’re shopping for additional medical coverage, we have to make sure we get the biggest bang for our buck. Here’s how we do that.
Go figure. Insurance companies qualify seniors that they want to do business with by our age. Hello insurance companies, we are old people. That’s why we are called senior citizens, or baby boomers. Anyway I’ll get off my soap box and get back to our subject. Many insurance companies say we have to be between 60 and 80 to qualify as a senior citizen. That’s Okay, but the important thing to look at is if there any restrictions on the renewal age. If our policy cannot be renewed after we reach 80, and do to the advances of modern medicine, we will very likely live past 80. What good is the policy? Be mindful of restrictions on the renewal of the policy.
The plan needs to cover our needs as we age. This is where we may have to step up to the pump. As we age it is more likely that our health care expenses is going to increase. We have to make sure the plan we choose will cover these additional expenses. Rule of thumb, the higher the premium, the better the coverage.
We need to thoroughly understand what a policy covers and what it doesn’t cover. Then couple that information with what we think is important for us to be currently covered, and what we may need coverage for in the future. It’s a good idea to take a look at the health problems of our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. There may be some hereditary illness that we need to be watchful for.
We don’t want to be caught in the situation where we are denied coverage, because our aliment is considered a Pre-Existing Condition. Or there is a waiting period for the treatment of a pre-existing condition. If possible, find a plan that doesn’t have a pre-existing condition clause in it.
Since we boomers are travelers, we need to be able get health care, pretty much wherever we go. It doesn’t make sense to purchase a health care plan in New York State, and find that we can’t get treatment in California. At least we should be able to receive treatment in any state of the union.
Finally we have to be able to afford the insurance. That includes the premium, and the co-pay. Once again, unless we have that money tree growing in the back yard, this issue should be pretty important to us.
We don’t want to be driving our car around town without it being covered with adequate insurance. The same is true when we consider health care insurance during our retirement years. I read on the internet, that the typical baby boomer couple will have to speed $260,000.00 on their health care, that by the way is out of the pocket money. I don’t think that I’m peculiar when I say that, that’s something that I can’t afford. We protect ourselves against lawsuits, and property damage, when we’re driving our cars. It only makes sense that we protect ourselves against sky high health care cost as well.
That’s all I got for now. I hope that I’ve been able to share a few tibbits of information. I sure would like to hear from you if you have anything to add, or if you disagree with any of my thoughts. You can leave your comments below.