3 Health Insurance Questions You Should be Asking When Planning for Your Future
When planning for your future, always make sure to ask these health insurance questions. And, to reference our past article, Why You Should Include Happiness in Your Retirement Plan, bringing in some much-needed cheers will make asking these questions an incredible experience!
But why is there a need to ask questions when health insurance will be able to cover your wellness needs anyway? This is because of two important points that we’d like to briefly share with you and other readers today:
Approximately 77 million Americans have inadequate health literacy, according to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy conducted by the U.S. Department of Education. This basically means that there is a significant number of individuals who are more likely to spend on unnecessary medical procedures or have difficulty interpreting health instructions.
Also, the Insured Retirement Institute’s Boomer Expectations for Retirement 2016 report revealed that almost half of the respondents (45%) have not set aside funds for their retirement at all. Additionally, the majority of the survey’s respondents (59%) are to rely on Social Security to pay for retirement expenses – not exactly an optimistic view, particularly for women who may receive lesser benefits because of work interruptions (since benefits are paid depending on an individual’s years of employment).
As such, taking the time to learn more about how a particular health insurance will help you address your retirement needs is necessary for securing brighter golden years. And for this post, we’ll be focusing on Medicare Supplements (also known as Medigap) and Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI). Here are some suggested questions that you may want to ask:
How Will Health Insurance Help Me Save Money?
For LTCI, identifying long term care costs will give you an excellent idea of how much money you’ll be saving (national median scope; annually):
- Homemaker Services: $45,760
- Assisted Living Facility Care: $43,539
- Nursing Home Care (Private Rooms): $92,378
Long term care is expected among individuals age 65 years and above. So purchasing coverage will give you the peace of mind needed during the twilight years.
What about Medigap policies? This form of insurance will help policyholders pay for out-of-pocket costs (commonly called as “gaps”) not covered by Original Medicare Plans. These gaps, such as coinsurance fees, copayments, and deductibles, can quickly pile up to an exorbitant amount – being covered with a Supplement will prevent you going through this frustrating financial experience. Additionally, there are ten standardized plans to choose from, all of which are sold by private insurance companies. This just means that an applicant gains the advantage of shopping around the market for the best policy and having the option to speak with multiple agents on deciding the best approach in planning for their future.
When is the Best Time to Purchase a Plan?
One of the most common Medigap questions that interested applicants ask concern the matter of timing. The best time to apply for a Medicare Supplemental Plan is during the Open Enrollment Period (OEP). This is during the time you turn 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B as well. During this six-month period, individuals who apply for a Medigap policy have access to these advantages:
- Guaranteed Issue Medicare Supplement Applications – meaning, insurance companies cannot turn down an application.
- No Additional Fees or Higher Premiums
- An applicant will not undergo a strict medical underwriting process
For LTCI, selecting a plan as early during the 50s allows an individual the advantage to prepare for the future. This is because LTCI premiums scale as an applicant’s age. Also, purchasing a plan at a later date may mean declines in applications – coverage is declined mainly because of health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Are there any Other Benefits I Can Gain from Insurance Policies?
Perhaps the underlying benefit that retirement solutions such as LTCI and Medicare Supplements provide is the opportunity for policyholders to make the most out of the retirement years. An LTCI policy will give the security a baby boomer needs, allowing him or her more time to spend with the people who matter in life. Depending on the chosen Medigap plan, additional benefits such as foreign travel coverage will help boomer travelers gain the coverage they need during trips.
We hope that these questions will help you and other retirement planners have an idea on how insurance can help. Do you have other suggestions to add? Please let us know below.
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