The elderly who live on fixed pensions may find health insurance prices to be prohibitively-expensive. With sky-high premiums and deductibles, a lot of seniors often decide to just take their chances and not get coverage. But this is far too risky of a decision since paying for medical expenses straight from your own pocket can prove disastrous to your entire life savings.
You don’t have to take the risk of going through your twilight years without health insurance. There are ways by which you save on health insurance. Follow these tips:
1. Take advantage of Medicare. Medicare is the federally mandated health insurance plan for those 65 years and older. If you have paid your Medicare taxes, you are also eligible for Medicare benefits. You are automatically enrolled for Medicare Part A and are eligible for hospitalization benefits. Make sure that you sort out all your Medicare papers before you actually retire so you don’t have to contend with a lot of confusion afterwards. If you haven’t paid Medicare taxes, you may still purchase Medicare Part A or get other health insurance plans.
2. Raise your deductible if you can do so to save money on health insurance costs. This allows you to lower the premiums you have to pay monthly so you can allocate the money for other things. To save even more, get policies without deductibles for such services as preventive care, prescription drugs and clinic visits.
3. Do not discount co-insurance. After you have paid your deductible, the remaining amount paid by your insurer is called co-insurance. Most of the time, 80 percent of your bills up to a specific amount annually are handled by your insurance company. Once you have used up your deductible, the medical expenses that you will incur will be covered fully by the insurance company. If you choose plans that give only 50 percent co-insurance, you may get lower monthly premiums but these are not cost-effective if you visit your doctor frequently.
4. Get insurance from the provider where most of your doctors belong. You can inquire from your physicians which insurers these are. When your doctors do not belong to your health plan’s network of providers, you will only be partly reimbursed for your expenses.
5. Don’t get yourself denied. A lot of cases of coverage denial usually come about as a result of inadequate information given at the moment of policy purchase. For example, conditions which you had in the past which have already been resolved may be categorized as a preexisting condition and be denied coverage by your insurer because of incomplete information you had provided. To avoid being denied coverage, always use honesty and thoroughness in filling out your insurance forms at purchase.
As a final reminder, don’t be content with just getting one quote from an insurance company. In shopping for a health insurance plan, always get multiple quotes from at least 3 companies. The price differences can be huge, so always “window shop” before finally buying an insurance policy.