Health Insurance for Seniors – What Are Your Options?

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Most often, seniors struggle with high healthcare costs, especially since the income goes down post retirement. According to statistics, there were 40 million adults aged 65 and older in the US, and there will be 72 million by 2030. Besides, healthcare spending makes up for about 18% of the total GDP in the United States. Out of this, 5% goes to health care for those who are 65 and above. This share of healthcare for senior citizens is expected to go up and double by 2030, and triple by 2050.

So how does one manage the costs as you enter your senior years? Generally, most senior health care costs are paid by government programs like Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration, or some by private health insurers.

Let’s take a look at some of the best health insurance options for seniors:

Medicare

This is one of the most popular options for seniors. It is a Federal Insurance Program for those above the age of 65. This policy has four parts – Medicare Part A provides hospital insurance. It is free if you have worked for 10 years or more and paid Social Security Taxes. You just have to fill a form to avail this. As part of Medicare Part B, doctor visits, annual checkups, mental health care, x-rays and similar services outside of a hospital. This part is not free – there is an annual premium and deductible that varies from year to year.

Part C is called Medicare Advantage, and lets you get coverage through private insurance companies that offer qualifying plans. And the last Part D is a prescription plan that is available to anyone enrolled in Traditional Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Medicaid

This is a medical insurance that caters to low-income seniors. One is only eligible for this if you have “spent down” available assets. You might have some queries, but you can also consult an elder law attorney or financial advisor. This policy is often used in conjunction with Medicare, and many also cover some medical services and prescriptions not covered by Medicare.

There is also insurance for Veterans, Military Personnel and their families. The Federal government provides medical benefits that are applicable for active duty service members, veterans and their spouses. The benefits part of this are available to all veterans, at any age, and those who were honorably discharged.