Making sense of senior insurance needs and processes can seem confusing and almost unbearable at times. Between paperwork and deadlines, Medicare and secondary insurance, seniors can find themselves inadvertently without the correct insurance coverage. If you or a loved one is retiring or over the age of 65, now is the time to get your health insurance concerns addressed before a major medical crisis hits. To get you started, here are a few of our tips.
If you are approaching the age of 65, you won’t have to worry about seeking out Medicare information - it will come to you before your milestone birthday. Medicare can be confusing, but choosing the Parts that work best for your current situation can end up being a money saver.
In 2016, there were a few changes to the Medicare system that may directly affect you. First, Part B participants who don’t get premiums taken directly out of their Social Security income are seeing an increase in payment this year. Part B deductibles also increased across the board this year. However, not every change is negatively affecting your pocketbook. The year 2016 also ushered in more choice for hospice care and elective knee or hip surgeries for seniors.
Some seniors are able to receive Medicare and Medicaid benefits, which can significantly decrease the financial burden of long term care needs or other medical costs. Fortunately, the changes to Medicaid senior benefits in 2016 were minimal.
If your loved one needs long term senior care and is covered with Medicaid benefits, be mindful that you may find it difficult to secure a senior community that has space available. Most Assisted Living communities do not take Medicaid payment and skilled nursing communities are often licensed for a certain number of Medicaid patients, leaving many on waiting lists until there is space available.
Marketplace and Secondary Coverage
If you are retired but not yet eligible for Medicare, you can purchase insurance from the Health Insurance Marketplace. Or, you might have the option of purchasing a continuation of your insurance from your previous employer via COBRA. If you are unsure what to do, it is best to work with a financial advisor or senior resource to determine which option would be best for your financial and medical needs.
Long Term Care Coverage
Finally, long term care insurance is still a viable option for many adults in 2016. These insurance plans often cover costs associated with skilled nursing communities that are not covered by Medicare or other secondary insurances. Again, check with your financial advisor to see if your financial and medical conditions would make this investment a wise one.
Your local senior center is a great place to find out information about any insurance questions you may have. Often, volunteers or staff members have set hours for walk-in appointments to guide you through the decision making process.