As you near your 65th birthday, you’ve already begun to receive information in the mail about Medicare, the federal health insurance program for senior citizens.
But did you know you have more choices than just Medicare? Did you also know that Medicare does not cover all services?
Keep reading for a short overview of the senior healthcare insurance options available to you.
Senior Healthcare Insurance Options
You have four options for a senior insurance plan. Everyone age 65 and older qualifies for Medicare. If you fall into a particular income bracket, you also qualify for Medicaid. If you do not qualify for Medicaid, you can get private insurance or supplemental insurance to fill in the gaps that Medicare does not cover.
If you’re 65 or older and worked full time for at least ten years, you qualify for Medicare. You’ve already paid for the service with your mandatory payroll tax for the years you worked.
Medicare has four basic parts:
- Part A is free. It covers healthcare like hospitalization, nursing home care, hospice, and some home health care.
- Part B costs around $100 a month and covers your outpatient expenses. So doctor visits, preventative care, some surgeries, labs, and even mental health care are covered under Part B.
- Part C costs vary from plan to plan. Also known as Medicare Advantage, Part C refers to the health plans private insurance companies sell. These companies contract with the government.
- Part D is the prescription drug plan.
You do have to pay for Medicare. The type of care you need and the type of Medicare coverage you need will determine your costs.
With so many parts, Medicare can confuse people. Resources like Medicare Wire help individuals keep individuals informed.
Healthcare for seniors can come from both the state and the federal government.
Medicaid is a state-run health insurance program that the federal government partially funds. Low-income individuals receive health care through Medicaid, including low-income seniors.
If you spend most of your assets on your healthcare, then you can qualify for Medicaid to cover your long-term care such as nursing home care and hospice care.
You can be eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid at the same time.
You can also purchase an individual health insurance plan. Be aware, though, these plans are often expensive. Often seniors purchase private healthcare to help pay for the things that Medicare will not pay for like assisted living facilities, nursing care, home health, and nursing home care.
Supplemental Healthcare Insurance or Medigap
If you cannot afford out-of-pocket expenses like co-pays, co-insurance, or deductibles that Medicare does not cover, you can purchase supplemental healthcare insurance or Medigap insurance. Private insurance companies contract with the federal government to provide policies specifically to give healthcare insurance for seniors.
Supplemental healthcare insurance will not cover dental or vision care, eyeglasses, long-term care, hearing aids, or private nursing care.
Senior healthcare insurance can seem complicated. It also can change with the shifting winds of politics. Keep abreast of the changes by continuing to visit sites such as ours.