Baby boomers do have access to health insurance, despite what they may think. The premiums may be higher for coverage.
“Just about the minute your birthday hits and you turn 50 or older, health insurance coverage gets harder to find. Statistically speaking, when you get to be that age, you have more health problems than you did when you were younger. The more health problems you have, the more an insurance company will pay out on you, and the more your premiums will be. However, there are some ways around this dilemma,” said Clelland Green, RHU, CEO, and president of Benepath, Pennsylvania.
“One example to handle this sticky situation would be to find out if the company you work for will let you buy health insurance through the company. If so, they may subsidize a portion of the premiums. If not, you may also have the option of group rates. And, if your spouse is still working, find out if you can be added to their plan,” Green said.
Another option, provided an individual is working and has health insurance provided by the employer, is COBRA. In a nutshell, COBRA allows former workers and dependents to continue their employer’s group coverage for as long as 18 months, and the good news is that it is guaranteed. That means the employer’s insurance carrier cannot turn someone down, even if they have a chronic health problem.
“Unfortunately, although this sounds like the best of both worlds, the costs associated with COBRA are rather stiff. In other words, you have to pay the whole premium and an administrative cost. This can add up,” Green said.
There are actually quite a few options for those who find themselves without health insurance due to a change in their circumstances, including the option of getting coverage through a state high-risk health program. The premiums in that scenario are also high, but having health insurance coverage when it is needed far outweighs the expense of not having it and winding up with staggering medical bills that cannot be paid.
“If those alternatives don’t work for you, you could go the individual health insurance route. There are a number of newer products on the market, specifically designed for the 50 to 65 year old group. And it’s about time. There are a lot of older people in good shape with higher disposable incomes these days, making them a good risk for insurance,” Green said.
The bottom line is that there is always a way to find health insurance that would suit someone who is older. It just takes a bit of searching and asking questions about what is out there. “Make sure you check out the idea of combining a high deductible individual health insurance policy with a health savings account. Money left over in those accounts rolls over for the next year. That’s often a benefit for older people,” Green said.
To learn more, visit http://www.benepath.com