Discovering Affordable Senior Health Insurance Options
Not knowing where and when to find affordable senior health insurance can be frustrating for many people. The fact that insurance information is confusing and full of industry jargon only further serves to aggravate the situation. According to the Kaiser Foundation, lack of affordable senior health insurance is restricting patients’ ability to get the proper care and medical treatment they need. This is a problem that can be addressed, to a large degree, with proper education.
Here are some easy to understand facts and information that pertain to affordable senior health insurance plans. This information can help you choose the right coverage for yourself, your parents, or other seniors that you care about.
The first step is to see if you qualify for Medicare. Medicare is intended to be used by people who are 65 years of age, or older. There are provisions that also provide Medicare health benefits to specific individuals who are younger than 65. People who suffer renal diseases or have become disabled generally who are not yet 65 can meet the qualifications for Medicare. If you are not sure if you qualify, visit www.senior65.com and start on step 1.
After you sign up for Medicare you then want to consider additional options. Although Medicare provides a moderate amount of health benefits to nearly 50 million people in the US, it was never meant to be used as a standalone health package. If this is the only health care benefits that you currently have, you most likely do not have enough coverage to take care of all your medical needs. Even using low cost health clinics that are in your community is not enough help to make up the difference.
If you are concerned that Medicare will not meet all your health care needs you will need to select one of the following: A) Medicare Advantage Plan or B) Medigap insurance.
A) Medicare Advantage Plan
With Medicare Advantage, qualified individuals can sign up for plans that often offer more health care benefits and extended coverage options. Medicare Advantage is handled through private insurance companies and provides health care services covered under Medicare Parts A and B and may offer additional services not covered under Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans are usually HMOs but some are PPOs. These plans can even include prescription coverage. Medicare Advantage plans are typically only good within a local coverage area and not all doctors accept these plans. In general Medicare Advantage plans premiums are lower than Medigap plans but copayments for certain health benefits can be much more expensive. While this is often an affordable senior health insurance plan that helps you lower health care costs, it can end up costing more if you have many health insurance needs.
Medigap is a popular term used for Medicare supplemental insurance. When you sign up for this type of plan, the policy will help bridge the difference (gaps) between actual health care charges and the amount of money that Medicare pays. Like Medicare Advantage, Medigap is also offered by private health insurance companies but is highly regulated. Each private company must offer the same exact benefits so it makes comparing Medigap plans very easy. Medigap plans are PPO plans and often have national networks of doctors. Medigap insurance is the best way for you cut your out-of-pocket expenses and protect you from the high cost of procedures not completely covered under Medicare. A new site, Senior65.com, was recently created to help seniors figure out and purchase Medigap insurance.