Medical Insurance Plans for Elderly Parents
As we age, the importance of health insurance increases. While many seniors are aware of government-run health insurance programs, they often do not provide enough money or coverage of care, and when you have a limited income, medical bills are harder to cover on your own. While it may be a good idea to utilize government programs to get some of the help you need, obtaining private health insurance to cover the costs in which you might accrue in your later years is essential.
When shopping around for medical insurance plans, you need to be aware of what you get with such a policy. For example, many policies do not cover prescriptions and if those are a large part of your medical expenses, it is something you need to take into consideration. Senior health insurance
helps cover costs that are not covered by government programs, such as Medicare.
In the event you require at-home care, supplemental insurance will help you cover the deductible so you are able to receive the required care. Additionally, you may be able to purchase long-term care insurance to cover the costs of being moved to a senior care facility or obtaining care at home with a home healthcare professional.
For those who already have Medicare, types of supplemental insurance include Medicaid, Health Maintenance Organizations, also known as an HMO, Medicare Gap or Tax-Qualified Long-Term Care insurance policies.
If you want to stay at home as long as possible, but need help in daily activities, home health care insurance covers costs to have a home health care professional come into the home to provide care and services. If you are looking into a policy such as this, make sure the insurance covers a variety of services. Some policies also have a per-day spending cap, which may or may not be something you want, especially if you need extensive care.
Senior health insurance, offered through a variety of reputable insurance companies, is essential to cover costs of hospitalization. While a basic plan is helpful, it is common practice for patients to spend most of the recovery and therapy after a hospital stay in nursing facilities or rehabilitation centers, rather than a hospital room. Basic senior policies do not cover such facilities, so you would end up paying out of pocket for those expenses, which can snowball in a matter of days.
Should you need or want additional insurance, such as one that covers dental or vision, you will need to purchase them separately from the main policy. Most insurance companies offer these additions at a reasonable cost.
When it comes time to shop around for medical insurance plans for the elderly, take into consideration current and foreseeable future needs. Does Mom have a medical condition that will grow worse with time, such as Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer's? Does Dad's orthopedic needs change as his arthritis condition changes? These are things you need to consider when choosing medical insurance for seniors. What happens today is not necessarily what happens a week or month from now.
Ask about adapting or customizing an insurance plan to meet your Mom's needs now and in the future. Ask about making changes on a yearly basis if required by Mom's diagnosis. Conditions and capabilities for the elderly can change quickly.
Dad may need some in-home health care services now that he didn't need six months ago, and Mom may require additional adult day care services in a few months that were not necessary when you first purchased a health insurance policy.
No matter what age you or your parents are, shopping for and purchasing medical insurance plans may mean the difference between drowning in medical bills and being able to cover necessary costs. Take your time shopping for policies, and choose the one that best suits your budget and needs.