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Insurance Basics for Seniors

As you head into the retirement stage you’ve been looking forward to, the things that matter in life start to become more apparent.  One of these is your health. Your body won’t be as spry in your 60s as it was in your 30s. As your body becomes frailer, it is more susceptible to a variety of illnesses.

Having medical coverage becomes more of a necessity than a luxury. This is especially true after you retire and no longer have the same income level. You don’t want the entirety of whatever pension you’re earning to go into paying off medical bills.

Prepare Your Finances

Retirement should not be the end of the lifestyle you enjoyed in your days of employment. But for that to happen, you need to begin putting your finances in order now. You need to take stock of your present level of expenditure and create a post-retirement budget. This ensures you don’t underestimate your expenses.

Your budget should take into account the fact that parts of retirement income are taxed. To gain a truly accurate picture of your financial health after retiring, you can use an online retirement calculator. It enables you to see how the rate of inflation and other variables will impact your ability to sustain yourself in your non-working years.

After getting a clear idea of how much money you need when you retire to enjoy a comfortable life, you can make that the goal of your retirement investment plan. Besides looking at stocks and bonds, you can also think about rolling over your 401K savings to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). You can enjoy some tax benefits as you save and invest for your sunset years.

Understand Medicare

Medicare is a health program implemented by the government to provide individuals above the age of 65 with access to healthcare. It also covers younger people with specific disabilities. The program has multiple parts, including:

Part A– This part provides coverage for in-hospital treatment and a stay in a nursing facility for a limited amount of time. You can also receive home-based care and hospice care under this form of medicare.

Part B– This part covers outpatient care, private consultation, and some preventive healthcare. It will also cover the usage of some medical equipment.

Part C– It includes all the benefits part A and B provide and is run by private companies

Part D– This part covers prescription drugs.

Understand Medicaid

Medicaid offers medical coverage to 72.5 people in the U.S.; however, not everyone is eligible. Senior citizens, expectant mothers, children, and people with disabilities can seek treatment under Medicaid. In some states, low-income earners below retirement age are also covered by Medicaid. It is provided by both state governments and the federal government.

You can work out your eligibility for Medicaid using a formula based on your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). If you’re above the age of 65 or suffer from a form of disability, you’re exempt from having to prove your eligibility based on the formula. Be sure to apply ahead of time, so you have coverage when you need it.

Though the federal government provides the framework under which states can define the benefits of Medicaid for its residents, each state is free to determine the type, duration, and extent of the medical services they can seek. Among the mandatory benefits specified by the federal government are in and outpatient care, GP consultation, and home-based care.

Finding Coverage

Though you are eligible for both forms of medical cover as a senior citizen, it is important to understand the differences between Medicare vs. Medicaid. At some point, after you retire you may find yourself faced with the choice of whether to take advantage of your Medicare benefits or go for private insurance. The former is easy as it is automatic in some cases.

If you already received healthcare benefits via social security in the months leading up to your 65th birthday, you automatically activate parts A and B of your Medicare.

If you would rather use private insurance, you will have a seven-month window to apply for Medicare benefits. That is if you wish to avoid penalties or lapses in cover. If you end up with both types of coverage, one will be taken as the primary payer and the other as the secondary payer.

Own Your Health

With your retirement approaching, you must get all the information you need to ensure you’re well set up for medical treatment after your employer’s coverage ends.

Remember, the coverage does not automatically start when you turn 65. Start learning about your opportunities now so you can enjoy all retirement has to offer.

Ajeet Sharma, the founder of Financegab and a well-known name in the field of financial blogging. Blogging since 2017, he has the expertise and excellent knowledge about personal finance. Financegab is all about personal finance which aims to create awareness among people about personal finance and help them to make smart, well-informed financial decisions.


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