Packing up your work clothes and ditching your daily commute aren't the only things that change when you retire. You also have to sort out arrangements like what to do about health insurance. Seniors have several choices to keep them covered for everything from routine checkups to major medical conditions. Here are some options seniors residing at Autumn View Gardens in Ellisville, Missouri, can explore.
As you get older, you might notice more physical changes in your body. Your mobility can become limited, and you might develop chronic health conditions. Regular checkups help catch those issues early when they're easier to treat. Maintaining routine treatments once you're diagnosed can help keep your symptoms under control. Your doctor can also give you advice on protecting your health, for example, with tips for heart health.
If you have health insurance, you could be more likely to get the medical care you need. Health insurance doesn't cover all the costs, but it makes doctors' visits, hospital stays and prescription medications a lot more affordable. Without insurance, you might put off seeking medical care until your condition becomes severe.
If you're lucky, you might be able to keep your group health insurance coverage from your company after you retire. While rare, some companies offer this benefit to retirees. You'll likely pay a larger amount for the coverage than you did while you worked for the company, but it could be more affordable than buying insurance yourself. The coverage might be better than other options, too.
Medicare is a popular option for seniors. It's an affordable choice compared to buying health insurance on your own. You become eligible for Medicare coverage when you turn 65. You could qualify earlier if you have a disability, end-stage renal disease or ALS. If you retire before 65, you'll need to find alternative health care coverage until you qualify for Medicare.
Original Medicare includes Part A and Part B. Part A is your hospital insurance coverage to help pay for inpatient stays, skilled nursing and some home health care. Part B is your medical insurance and covers preventive care, doctors' visits and outpatient care.
You also have the option to buy a Medicare Advantage plan. This combines Parts A and B with Part D, which offers some additional coverage choices. Medicare Advantage plans vary, with possible coverage options including vision, dental and hearing services. However, you might have more restrictions on which providers are in your network. Evaluate all your Medicare alternatives to make the best choice for your situation.
Medicaid is a needs-based federal program run by individual states. Low-income individuals and those receiving Supplemental Security Income are among those eligible for Medicaid coverage. Some states offer coverage to more groups. The federal government requires state Medicaid programs to cover certain types of care, including physician visits, hospitalization, labs and X-rays. For older adults, the program covers home health services and nursing facility services. Some states offer additional coverage.
You might choose to purchase your own private health insurance policy. This is an option if you don't yet qualify for Medicare or you simply want more control over your coverage. The plans in the marketplace have to meet certain requirements, including covering preventive care, doctors' visits and hospitalization.
You'll find a wide range of coverage choices and premiums from different plans. Compare the options to find a balance between the monthly premiums and the coverage you get. Some people prefer to pay more up front for premiums and have lower out-of-pocket costs when they need medical care. Others want to keep their premiums low and are willing to pay a larger portion of their medical bills when they need care.
Some seniors choose to work part-time after retirement. This could be for financial reasons to make ends meet or just to get out of the house and stay active. Some companies offer health insurance and other benefits to part-time employees. Research local companies that hire part-time to see if they extend their health insurance plan to all staff members.
Start by finding out which programs you're eligible to join. If you're 65 or older, you can get Medicare coverage, which is often the most affordable option. You might also qualify for Medicaid if you're a low-income senior.
Look at your finances to help you decide. If you have a larger retirement income, you might consider private insurance that might cover more services. Use your budget to help compare insurance options and choose one for you.
Consider the type of coverage you want and need. Compare the coverage provided by different insurance plans you're considering to ensure they'll pay for the medical services you need frequently.
Seeking professional advice can also help you choose a health insurance plan. Many states offer counseling for seniors. The Missouri SHIP program counsels and educates seniors on Medicare coverage. Financial advisors can also help you analyze your financial situation and plan for medical expenses.
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