health insurance

Health Insurance 101 for Senior Citizens

Health Insurance Overview:

Adequate health insurance is becoming one of the most precious assets that one can have.  Certainly, health insurance is a huge priority to most senior citizens.  Protecting your health and making sure that you have access to adequate medical care is one of the most important things that you can do to make your life active and fulfilling. It is quite obvious that accessible health care is not always affordable to everyone in the United States.  Recent publicity about Medicare reform has made it clear that this is especially true for our nation’s seniors. This web page will seek to be a primer for senior citizens in relation to some of the basics on health insurance for your daily needs. 

Health insurance types: 

There are various different kinds of health insurance.  While each has different requirements and is run by different entities, it is important to understand that many individuals combine several types of insurance coverage to meet their needs.  It may be confusing to deal with all of these different types of health insurance coverage, but we will seek to explain them in basic detail.  The three different types of insurance which will be discussed on this page are Medicare, Medicaid, and private health-insurance policies, which will each be described briefly on this page then covered in more detail on subsequent pages. 

Medicare health insurance: 

Medicare is a federally funded health insurance plan designed to help pay for senior citizen’s health care needs.  It basically has two parts, Part A, which covers hospitalization and Part B which covers outpatient services such as doctors visits. You are usually eligible for Medicare just prior to your 65th birthday. 

Medicaid as a health insurance program ran by your state government in conjunction with some financial assistance to your state by the federal government. It is a program developed for low income individuals (which may include seniors) and was originally intended to be an insurance of last resort. Many people have heard some information about “spending down to Medicaid”, which means that a person must use up most of his or her assets before they may qualify.
Private health-insurance:
Private health insurance policies are usually provided by employers or are purchased by individuals.  These policies are provided by private health insurance companies and premiums are paid for by employers, employees or by other insured individuals. Some of these private health insurance policies are referred to as Medigap policies, which means that they are designed to specifically covered things in which Medicare does not.  Long-term care insurance is a private insurance plan purchased specifically to cover the costs of assisted living and nursing home care, which will be covered on separate pages of this web site.
Some information adapted from Seniors’ Rights by Brette McWhorter Sember 

Additional Information and Webpage By Paul Susic Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist

Psych Talk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *