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What happens if you decide to retire at age 60 and are no longer covered by your insurance companies health insurance plan, yet are still 5 years away from being Medicare eligible? Where to get affordable health insurance is a question facing many baby boomers of late. The good news is, there are options available. The bad news is, it’s a little bit complicated and slightly costly to obtain independent health insurance.
The most important thing you can do to begin preparing for purchasing independent health insurance is to do whatever you can to stay healthy. Not only does good health help you get a better insurance plan, it also helps keep your medical bills down to begin with. If you are a smoker, do whatever you can to quit immediately. Try to exercise daily and eat healthy foods. Take measures to prevent illness such as washing hands often and avoiding exposure to sick individuals. Take precautions to avoid injury.
By showing good health you can qualify for more insurance plan options.
Check out your income to find out if you qualify for financial assistance for health care or are eligible for government run health plans like Medicaid. If you can get assistance with health care, take advantage of it. Your county department of social services or local senior center should be able to help you determine if you are eligible to apply for these programs.
Use the internet to help you compare rates of various insurance companies. Purchase only the minimum amount of insurance you think you will need. If you have a lot of savings or assets, you might be able to cover the cost of some medical bills on your own at a lower cost then the high cost of private health insurance. Compare the out-of-pocket expenses such as co-pays and deductibles to see which company has rates that you can afford, and non-covered expenses that fit your budget.
The American Association of Retired Persons has deals with certain insurance companies like Aetna. The have a program specifically for baby boomers/seniors who do not yet qualify for Medicare. Contact them to see what programs they have that might be beneficial to you.
Consider joining a discount program. Such programs are not actual health insurance, but do allow you to get lower rates on health services. These programs are not available in all areas so be sure to check your local doctors and hospitals to see if they participate in these types of plans.
Many pharmacy’s now offer discount cards for prescriptions at their pharmacy’s. By joining the plan you get a lower rate for prescriptions. This can help save on the overall cost of independent health care.
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