Health insurance can be confusing for many people, but as you age into the “senior” population and need more medical attention and coverage, you may be confused about what exactly you need for your situation. On top of that, different types of insurance, such as home insurance or auto insurance can also have a big impact on your health and well-being. Here are some health insurance tips you need to know and should apply to your own situation to keep track of your health.
As you get closer to turning 65, you’ll be preparing to age into medicare. Medicare is a federal health insurance program that covers adults over the age of 65, younger people with certain disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease. While medicare can be a huge health benefit for many, it can also be difficult to understand. Here are some of the basic health insurance tips for medicare that you need to know as you prepare to enroll.
The Parts Of Medicare
There are three different parts of medicare that have specific services and coverage. As you prepare to enroll in Medicare, you will need to understand each as you decide which works best for your situation.
- Part A: Part A of medicare works as hospital insurance. It covers hopsitals stays, nursing facility care, hospice care, and some home health care.
- Part B: Part B works as medical insruance. It covers doctor services, outpatient care, medical supplies such as prosthetic devices, and preventative services.
- Part D: Part D works as prescription drug coverage. It will cover the cost of prescription drugs as well as some reccomended shots or vaccinations.
Many people qualify for Part A due to their work history. As long as you’ve paid payroll taxes for at least 10 years and you’re a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident, you’ll qualify.
As long as your employer health plan meets Medicare’s minimum requirements, you don’t need to sign up for part B.
The Gaps In Medicare
One of the most important health insurance tips regarding medicare is understanding where the gaps in Medicare coverage are before you experience them. Medicare doesn’t cover 100% of your health care costs, you’ll need to know what you’ll have to pay out of pocket and deductible prices before you move forward.
The deductible for Part A hospital stays is $1,400. You’ll have to pay that deductible each time you visit the hospital if you haven’t received hospital or skilled nursing facility services within the past 60 days.
Part B also has specific deductibles and out-of-pocket costs that you’ll have to pay. The annual deductible for Part B is $198. Part B coinsurance means that you have to pay 20% of the cost of each service or procedure.
You can also expect to pay out-of-pocket for dental care, eye exams, hearing aids, and mental health care. Talk with the healthcare companies you’d like to get care through and figure out whether they will accept your insurance.
While it’s common for aging adults to have issues with teeth, it doesn’t mean all seniors will end up with dentures or false teeth. Teeth can last a lifetime if you take care of them right. Regular dental checkups will help to protect your teeth as they get more sensitive and fragile. Improper care can cause serious pain when you’re eating even basic crunchy or tougher food. If you want to continue enjoying your favorite foods, things as simple as pizza crust or potato chips, make sure you have dental care and dental insurance figured out.
Medicare does not cover dental insurance, and many seniors don’t figure this out until after they have to pay “out-of-pocket” to cover costs. That’s why one of the health insurance tips for aging adults is to get dental insurance coverage.
Some Medicare Advantage plans do provide dental coverage, so you will need to check out your specific plan to see what kind of coverage you may have. If you have Medicaid, some dental procedures will be covered.
If you can’t afford dental insurance, there are a few ways you can get reduced-cost care. Some communities have free or reduced-price clinics. Some dental schools also offer free or reduced-price care so their dental students can get practice. Check out these facilities in your area.
If you need a specific procedure, such as a bone graft for damaged teeth or jaw bone, you will need to double-check that your insurance will cover that kind of care. The dental facility you get care from works out which specific bone graft companies they’ll work with, you just need to ensure that your insurance covers the procedure.
Mental Health Care
As you age, you will start to experience new things that can take a toll on your mental health. Your body will change in new ways. You will start to lose friends and family to age. While aging can lead to happy golden years, it can also be a difficult time. Mental health as you age is extremely important. That’s why another one of the most important health insurance tips is to look into coverage that will support therapy, grief counseling, or other forms of mental healthcare.
Therapy and mental health care can also be extremely helpful as you go through health issues and treatments. For example, women that go through breast surgery due to breast cancer or other issues often work with a counselor to work through grief and tough feelings they are experiencing due to the side effects and changes.
One of the most important health insurance tips for aging adults is to take the time to really understand life insurance and what it covers before you invest in a policy. Life insurance is a larger commitment and one that can be confusing. Many adults put off getting life insurance because they don’t completely understand what it covers or entails. That is no reason to put off investing in it. Take the time to do your research and understand whether it’s right for you.
Rates for life insurance increase the older you get. This is why many middle-aged adults put off purchasing. There is no definitive answer to whether life insurance is worth it for middle age or senior adults. You will need to weigh out the pros and cons in your specific situation to determine whether it’s right for you.
Pros Of Life Insurance
If you have a family and loved ones you provide for or care for, life insurance is a way to ensure that they will have financial means if you die. Funerals are expensive, and the earnings from life insurance can help to cover the costs, such as funeral home costs, a casket, plot, and anything else they’ll need to purchase for a funeral. If you have large debts that you’ll leave behind, such as a mortgage, you’ll want to ensure that your loved ones won’t get stuck with the payments. Life insurance will give them the funds they need to pay off those debts.
Cons Of Life Insurance
If you are older and have health issues, life insurance rates will be pricey. If the coverage costs are to the point where they will be detrimental to your financial stability while you’re alive, it may not make sense for you. If the loved ones you’re leaving behind are self-sufficient, you wouldn’t have to worry about leaving funds for them to survive. If your mortgage is paid off, you won’t have to worry about who will take over payments.
Another great item on the health insurance tips list is to consider an alternative to life insurance for funeral coverage. Purchasing a small life insurance policy can help to ensure your family has the means to pay for your funeral. This could cover paying for funeral directors and other purchases they may need to make.
As you age, your car insurance rates are also likely to start increasing. Due to this, you will also need to spend more time finding the best rates. Having good auto insurance can seriously affect your mental health. Knowing that you are protected financially in case of an accident will give you a lot of peace of mind as you travel. That’s why working out your auto insurance is considered one of the most health insurance tips for aging adults.
As you are researching how to get the best auto insurance rates, there are some things you should consider. Some states offer discounts to seniors, others require you to take a refresher course for driving skills to qualify for the discount. Make sure to look into what your state requires. As you purchase a car, it’s almost smart to look for something to is cheaper to have insured. You can get car insurance quotes for the type of cars you’re looking at, so keep that in mind as you shop.
If you are recently retired, let your provider know. You can lower your premium if you no longer commute to work each day. It’s also smart to consider the value of your vehicle. If it’s not a brand new model, you may want to drop collision and comprehensive insurance. This will pay to repair your vehicle if it’s damaged or stolen, but it will only cover the value of the car. If it’s an older, less valuable car, you may be overpaying with insurance. Finally, consider bundling insurance. If you buy multiple policies from a company they will often offer a discount. If you already have insurance through a company, look first at their auto insurance coverage and the discounts you could get for bundling before looking at different companies’ policies.
You should also practice good driving habits. This means putting your phone away while you drive so you can be focused on the road and your surroundings. Getting in an accident can raise your insurance price. You may also consider getting knee high support hose to wear when you go on longer trips. They can help prevent cramps and improve blood-flow while you sit for a long period of time. These health insurance tips in conjunction with auto insurance will keep you protected in the event of an accident.
Home insurance is another area that seniors may not consider as part of health care but can help you deal with accidents and will protect your mental health. Over 50% of homeowners don’t have a clear understanding of their home insurance coverage, and thus may not be in the right policy. You may be looking for expenses to cut as you move into retirement, and your home insurance policy is somewhere you can easily make changes. Here are health insurance tips via home insurance.
While you may be able to cut back certain parts of your home insurance to save money, you should not cut it out altogether. If you plan to sell your home in the future, you want to ensure that it’s protected in case of an accident while you’re still living there. Older homes are also more prone to issues and if you’ve been living there for a while, it’s more likely that problems can arise.
Many home builders can recommend certain home insurance policies but they are not always the best options, especially for seniors. Some of the best recommendations for seniors regarding home insurance are:
- Consider increasing your deductible if you have an emergency fund saved up. This will lower your annual premiums.
- If your mortgage is paid off, the bank will likely no longer pay the premium. Sign up for duplicate premium notices to make sure you don’t miss a payment.
- Working to increase your credit score can lower your annual premium.
- If you work from home, you may need to also look into liability coverage.
Have the right kind of insurance for all situations will help you to preserve your health as you age. These health insurance tips will help you as you look for new coverage and make the best choices for your health and finances. Following these general tips as you make decisions will take the process of stressful to smooth.