Senior Health Insurance Policy

With the recent health insurance reforms, one group that has been particularly impacted is senior citizens. For many, Medicare and Medicaid do not cover all expenses, and at an age when they cannot work, these Americans are researching the senior health insurance policy to make their medical decisions. There are different regulations and policies that can limit the choices senior citizens have and may cause complications in getting procedures approved without penalty. For this reason, senior health insurance policy must be researched before a senior citizen signs up for the service.

There is a limited period that a senior citizen can sign up for Medicare services without a penalty. Starting 3 months before their 65th birthday, the enrollment period for Medicare services is very limited. The enrollment period lasts a total of 7 months. If a person does not enroll during this time, they must wait until the next January and then a 10% increase in premium for every year is added. This can be very costly and prohibitive for anyone that did not sign up during that period. Exceptions include being included in a COBRA insurance plan, or in a Spouse’s plan.

Failure to enroll in Medicare part B can result in increased payments to doctors. The actual price charged for services is frequently much higher than the Medicare negotiated price and can result in increased charges. For this reason, it is important that a senior citizen enroll in the plans, even if they do not foresee a need to do so.

Several other senior health insurance policy options can also be added to Medicaid services. For example, Social Security, Medigap, Medicaid, HMO, and supplemental services can be added. These services add features that traditional Medicare does not cover. Additional services change the overall deductible and patient’s responsibility for services and charges in excess of the Medicare specified amount are covered through Medigap. These services are intended to cover the gaps in care that Medicare offers, and provide a more comprehensive coverage for participants. The more comprehensive coverage is particularly important for someone with a pre-existing condition, or long-term care needs.

In addition, if someone takes an early retirement, through Social Security, they are automatically enrolled in both Part A and Part B. However they have the ability to reject Part B. It is very important that they do not reject Part B and that they work with the Social Security office, as well as with any other supplemental insurance policies they hold because of the complexity of the regulations governing which policy pays for certain procedures and in which order these policies pay.

Overall, there are several options that are available for senior health insurance policy. It is important to consult with a health care specialist, with a caseworker with the Department for Human Services and with the Social Security office to determine the right combination of products for each individual. By researching the individual components and consulting with a specialist, the senior citizen is best able to compile a program that will meet their needs, without facing any of the restrictions or penalties that can prevent a senior citizen from seeking or receiving medical care.

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