Senior Health Insurance - The ABC's
There are many different types of health insurance for seniors out there, from Medicaid to Medicare, HMOs, long-term care and private insurance.
It's often difficult to know which to choose, what kind of insurance you need, and how it can help you both now and in the future. Understanding the basics between different types of health insurance for seniors will help you make more educated and beneficial decisions regarding your health care.
When looking for a senior health insurance, understand the differences between the different types of insurance out there. We'll briefly cover each of the major types of insurance as well as what are common to all of them.
HMO - known as a Health Maintenance Organization, an HMO offers a full range of medical coverage. Some HMOS offer point-of-service options for additional costs, which enables individuals to see providers outside their HMO network. At its most basic definition, an HMO is a managed care provider that offers contact to hospitals, doctors and healthcare providers with whom the HMO has contracted services. HMOs cover care and services
by doctors or other health care professionals that belong to the HMO plan. When selecting an HMO, the senior will be required to choose a primary care physician who acts as a literal "gatekeeper" to other medical providers and services.
Medicare and Medicaid - Medicare and Medicaid are provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and are generally available to individuals 65 years of age or older or who are already signed up for or collecting Social Security benefits.
Some individuals younger than 65 years of age and with certain medical complications or diseases may be eligible for Medicare and Medicaid services. Medicare and Medicaid is a leading governmental health insurance provider for seniors in the United States.
Long term care health insurance is designed to provide care not covered by Medicare or Medicaid services, and may even help pick up costs not covered by private insurers.
Long-term care coverage can be purchased separately or as part of a package plan, depending on the insurance carrier. Long-term care provides help in paying for services provided by nursing homes, long-term care facilities, as well as some home health care services.
Of course, there are other types of senior health insurance, and it's important for seniors to know what they're looking for, as well as their current and anticipated future needs when it comes to health care insurance and protection.
Health care costs continue to rise, and with today's baby boomer generation on the brink of explosion, it's important for seniors to have some type health care insurance, even if they are in perfect health now. Medical and health care insurance will help pay for services rendered by hospitals, physicians and surgeons, depending on circumstances.
Individuals diagnosed with chronic illnesses may find that the medical costs of prescription drugs alone are enough to ruin a retirement savings plan. Various forms of health insurance will help to cover the costs of hospitalization, specialist care, surgeries, medications, therapy, and, when necessary, long-term care that extends beyond 90 or 120 days, a time frame typically covered by Medicare or some private health insurance policies.
When looking for the right type of senior health insurance for you or a loved one, discuss your options with your local health insurance agent.
You can also save money by accessing web sites for resources on health insurance such as the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), or by contacting the Social Services department in your local hospital or long-term care center.
Shop around, compare policy benefits, and ask about co-pays, exclusions, and deductibles. Look for affordable healthcare plans that fit your budget and know your options before deciding on one senior health insurance over another. Yes, this takes time and effort, but your efforts will prove extremely beneficial in the long run.