With the rising cost of medical care, many elderly people rely on health insurance to help them pay for the medical services they need, including prescription medications. Most people today obtain health insurance through an employer but many elderly people have retired or are no longer active in the workforce so this is often not an option for them. Elderly people have several health insurance options, though.
Most people qualify for Medicare once they reach the age of 65. Medicare helps pay for a number of medical services, including inpatient and outpatient treatment and prescription medications. Most people receive Medicare Part A, which covers inpatient treatment, free of charge. However, people must pay a monthly premium for Medicare Parts B and D. Those with low incomes may qualify for help paying their monthly premiums. People must also pay co-pays for many services covered by Medicare.
Elderly people with low incomes often qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid helps pay for a number of medical services, including inpatient and outpatient treatment, home health care and prescription medications. Some people that qualify for Medicaid must meet a monthly spend down, like a deductible, before receiving Medicaid each month. The amount of the spend down is based on a person’s income. People do not have to pay any premiums for Medicaid. Elderly people can receive both Medicare and Medicaid if they qualify for both.
Private Health Insurance Plans
Elderly people can purchase private health insurance plans but these may be costly or may not cover all the services they need. In some cases elderly people may have pre-existing conditions that make it difficult for them to purchase private health insurance plans. Elderly people must pay out of pocket for private health insurance plans.
Some elderly people choose to buy supplemental insurance plans, such as those offered by AARP, that cover some of the things not covered by Medicare. These plans don’t take the place of a more comprehensive plan like Medicare, they just supplement such plans. Some find such plans difficult to afford, however. People must pay out of pocket for supplemental insurance plans.
Social Security Administration. http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10043.html. Medicare.
CMS. http://www.cms.gov/MedicaidGenInfo/. Medicaid Overview.
AARP. http://www.aarphealthcare.com/products/default.aspx?Products=64Plus#Age65Plus. Age 65+ Insurance Products.