Finding healthcare coverage for older adults can be challenging, and even if you’ve found a plan that works for you, the premiums may be prohibitively expensive. Rest assured, affordable healthcare for seniors does exist! It’s up to you to make financially sound decisions by buying coverage that meets your needs and doesn’t charge you for services you won’t be using. For seniors living on a tight budget, researching your available options is essential to finding the most affordable health care plan. Here are a few things you should consider while weighing your options:
Health insurance for seniors is much more regulated and standardized than health insurance for other adults or children. Seniors in the United States are eligible for government-sponsored healthcare coverage, called Medicare, which often offers more affordable and beneficial packages than private individual health insurance plans. Medicare is available to anyone who has worked for at least 10 years in Medicare-covered employment, is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and is at least 65 years old. To find more information or to enroll in Medicare, visit the government’s website: www.medicare.gov.
To add or not to add? Additional expenses…
While Medicare will help pay for some healthcare costs, it won’t cover all of your medical expenses or some long-term care options. If you have Medicare but need additional services, you’ll want to explore private options or enroll in a privately managed healthcare plan (with extra benefits) under Medicare Advantage. If you are already enrolled in a private healthcare plan, make sure your plan covers all of the services you’ll need. But make sure that you know what you’re paying for; don’t buy services that you don’t need or won’t use.
In addition to Medicare, your state may offer supplemental insurance that will help low-income individuals pay for medical expenses not covered by the base Medicare plans. California’s public health insurance plan, Medi-Cal, pays for “medically necessary” healthcare, and it may also cover some Medicare costs. Contact your state’s health insurance assistance department for more information. Knowing what resources are available to you is a key to maximizing your benefits.
The following resources may help get you on your way to affordable healthcare coverage:
California Health Insurance Counseling: www.aging.ca.gov
California Department of Health Insurance: www.insurance.ca.gov
California Department of Health Care Services: www.dhcs.ca.gov
California Health Advocates: www.cahealthadvocate.org
Optional or on Profile: For more information on Medicares and medical insurance for seniors, or to get advice on whether this type of health insurance plan is right for you, visit www.enetinsurance.com and talk to one of our licensed health insurance agents.