Enjoy Retirement Days Without Worrying about Your Healthcare - Here's How
The first thing that retirees or those approaching retirement think about is their health. There’s little doubt that as people age, they will face and have to handle different health issues. How severe a health issue is will differ from person to person, but even the simplest of health problems need medical attention.
The Medical Costs
Current and future retirees worry before they can even contemplate enjoying their retirement, and for good reason. Every year, medical costs rise. If we compare what people pay now for what they used to pay, we can see that an average couple in 2015 would have needed to spend around $245,000 in medical costs, compared to a couple in 2019/2020 that would need to spend around $285,000 for around 20 post-retirement years. It’s estimated that a couple in their mid-30s today, would need around half a million dollars by the time they reach retirement just for medical costs alone. If that’s not worrisome, we don’t know what is.
Social security checks aren’t enough to pay for medical bills, and even the biggest of companies feel the pinch when it comes to providing healthcare benefits to their employees.
Despite this gloomy picture, there are different types of plans that help millions of Americans pay their medical bills comfortably. You have several options to help you meet the demands of healthcare and to enjoy your golden years without the constant worry. Here are some options and how they work.
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
The HMO plan is a popular plan for those who don’t have the means to pay for a high or even medium premium plan. This low paying premium plan has its advantages and requires the least paperwork out of other plans, but it also has the least freedom in choosing a health care provider. You can only deal with doctors who are also in the same plan, and you need to be referred from your provider before being able to see a specialist.
By the age of 65, you’re automatically enrolled in the federal insurance plan of Medicare. Medicare has a lot of coverage with A B C D programs and also has lots of rules and regulations. Basic Medicare has Part A and Part B: hospitalization coverage, and doctor visits and outpatient costs, respectively. The Medicare program is funded by tax-payer money.
This is a supplemental plan for Medicare and is also known as Medicare Supplement. Each plan is named using a letter of the alphabet from A to N. Where Medicare falls short, Medigap, as its name suggests, helps fill in some of the gaps. The alphabet labeling has nothing to do with the details of the plans and is just a form of labeling. Some plans may be high in deductible, some require higher cost-sharing, and some cover more costs. You will need to go through each plan and see which suits you best.
A premium that needs to be paid on a monthly basis is paid to the insurance company for the Medigap. Along with this, Part B is also included in the monthly payment. Although it’s a supplement program for the original Medicare, it must be bought separately from private insurers. There are 10 different Medigap policies that you can choose from. However, Medigap A is considered the core policy. Each plan in Medigap has its details set by the government. Medigap plans cover expenses that include copays and deductibles as well as a number of other expenses that are not covered by Medicare.
Medigap Supplement for the Disabled
One thing some people don’t know is that for people with disabilities, you will receive a Medigap Supplement plan once you’ve reached the age of 65. You might even be eligible to receive this plan if you have been disabled before age 65. Reading more at https://medicarewire.com/medigap/medicare-supplement-plans/medicare-supplement-for-disabled-under-65/ will allow you to know more details about how to apply for a supplement plan if you’re disabled and under 65 years old, and you can also learn about other healthcare plans that may be best suited for your needs. Most of the time, it will depend heavily on which state you live in. Living with a disability, you should try to seek the plan that has the most coverage and the coverage that suits you since out-of-pocket payments for doctors normally add up very quickly.
Medicare Advantage is part C of Medicare. This option needs to be purchased as a separate plan on its own. It’s a very flexible plan that has a lot to offer because you get Plan A and Plan B, plus other health benefits. By law, if you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you must be provided with plans A and B of Medicare. It’s important to note that Medicare Advantage is not a supplement plan to Medicare as Medigap is, and you cannot have both.
How plans differ
Details of each plan can differ. In addition, the deductibles you pay, which is the amount you pay before the health plan chooses to pick up 100% of your medical bills, will also differ in the level of benefits they offer. Generally, it goes like this:
Platinum: This covers 90% of your medical bills, on average, and you pay 10%.
Gold: Covers 80% on average and you pay 20%
Silver: Covers 70% on average and you pay 30%
Bronze: Covers 60% on average and you pay 40%
The bronze level has the least premiums to pay and could be a good choice if you're not expecting too many doctor visits because you’re expected to pay more with each visit. If you do have frequent doctor visits, and filling up on prescribed medicine, the gold plan might work out better for you with lower out-of-pocket costs.
Some costs of medical health come into play more than others depending on each individual case. It would be advised to focus on factors, such as doctor visits, lab tests, outpatient services, and deductibles each time you might be hospitalized. For sure, there’s a plan out there that suits you. Finding a regulated health insurance provider is going to be an important first step in securing medical benefits. After that, you can take a deep breath and start enjoying your retirement, knowing that you have a healthcare plan in place.