Seniors health insurance

Health insurance for seniors on the net

When a good friend of mine inquired where he could get information about out-of-state health insurance for his elderly mother, I told him to try the Internet.

About a week later, he desperately reported to me, “I’m giving up, I’m too confused.” He had taken on an overwhelming project with his widowed mother, who lived in another state. As an only child, and after his father’s sudden death, it was his responsibility to take care of his mother.

In this world of technology, the family often lives in different geographic areas and the family members are usually quite involved in their own life, career and family. In addition, when both parents are alive, often one or both parents are quite independent and do not need much help. As time goes by, things change naturally, and sometimes very suddenly. A crisis may arise regarding the care needs of one or both elderly parents.

With our baby boomers facing this problem in increasing numbers, and with the information superhighway in full bloom, there is a clear need for planning.

Protecting your parents’ property and health is a huge and daunting undertaking, requiring an enormous amount of education and practical application. Our seniors face many different responsibilities upon reaching age 65. Just to name a few: estate planning, taxes, health care, social security, wills, insurance, and various other legal and financial matters. All of these different areas require expertise from accountants, lawyers, estate planners, insurance agents, real estate agents, financial advisors, and others.

The Internet is a good starting point for most people to find resources for questions and solutions to your problems. However, there is no substitute for good sound intelligent advice from an expert.

Twenty years ago, insurance for the elderly was sold by “senior insurance specialists,” with only a handful of companies in each state. The programs were typically Medi-gap or Medicare supplemental policies, which covered expenses not covered by Medicare, including hospital and physician deductibles, durable medical devices, and unapproved Medicare costs. Ironically, these specialists didn’t sell many nursing care policies, even though Medicare paid a national average of less than 2% of these expenses. With the advent of “financial and estate planning” and more insurance companies entering this market, a broader and diversified product line became available to agents, brokers, planners and seniors.

Part of this new diversification was the “home care plan,” which was sold on its own and in conjunction with senior health insurance plans. The appeal of the “home care policy” was that a senior could stay at home and still receive medical and provisional services, allowing a person to recover in the comfort of their own home.

This was the answer to a huge problem. The last place an elderly person wanted to go was a “rest home,” or “rest home,” or, God forbid, the “nursing home.” It turned out that seniors can now rely on this new innovation without having to worry about having to leave their home environment if they have health problems.

As with most “if it’s too good to be true” things… The home care policy is no exception. The problem is that there isn’t enough coverage for long-term illness or recovery time. The fact is that the new trend is towards an “all-in-one” facility, enabling a variety of levels of care in one location. In other words, a senior could start with little or no health care worries in an independent, less expensive area, then move into assisted living or nursing homes, all within the same complex.

A “nursing home” requires a nurse present 24 hours a day, assisted living is only eight hours. The benefits of this are financial. The patient or senior will only be charged based on the level of care required during the time he or she is in that facility. Another advantage is that it eases a lot of planning because the care is delivered as it is needed. Medical care is available to all residents, regardless of their current health.

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Some people are offered a lifetime package, which covers their care for the rest of their lives, regardless of their current age. It also allows for socializing with an otherwise somewhat isolated group. Online shopping has become a huge business. It is definitely here to stay and many insurance policies are purchased through internet quotes and online applications.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of insurance agents and brokers advertising on the Internet. Most of them offer instant online quotes and even inquiries for the potential policyholders. I strongly advise a layman not to take out insurance in this way. A little knowledge can be dangerous.

The federal government has legislated all states with the standardized guidelines for senior insurance, which are administered and regulated by each state insurance department.

There are plans for almost every level of health. Some are designed and priced for a less than healthy person. Others are for a person with minimal health problems. . The whole concept of insurance is to provide protection for “unforeseen” illness or injury, especially catastrophic costs, that would wreck a person’s wealth. The more small expenses someone is willing or able to pay (deductible), the lower the rate. I recommend this strategy when evaluating your insurance options.

Another consideration when reviewing different insurance plans is to look at the company itself. How long has the company been selling this type of insurance? Have they filed many complaints with the local insurance department? Are the rates stable? Does he pay claims on time? Maintenance? Most agents talk about the rating. These ratings are as follows: A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C- or “not rated”.

Don’t be fooled by reviews alone. It is good to have a high rating, but it is much better to have a company with longevity, stability, innovation, service and expertise. The problem is that some companies enter a market and quickly leave without explanation. This does not provide the policyholder with any security.

The main consideration should be a revision of the profit/loss ratio for that product. This ensures stability and a long service life in the market. An insurance company with moderate profits in a particular industry will remain in that market. On the other hand, a company with losses will make changes and may even back out. This is information that is normally not available to Internet users.

Before entering into an insurance contract, the senior person, family and other advisors must be realistic and a careful evaluation of the whole picture must be considered. The senior’s age, health, financial resources, personality and attitude, and most importantly, the senior’s wishes, all need to be considered.

Early planning is important, as qualification becomes increasingly difficult as the applicant’s health deteriorates. The aged care market is complex. I will offer some words of advice to try and alleviate potential pitfalls.

*Choose a knowledgeable, experienced and service-oriented agent or broker to support your decision-making process. The professional can provide valuable information, but don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and even get a second opinion.

*Don’t wait for your parent or loved one to be sick or injured. Plan ahead and take the time it takes to discuss all options.

*Choose an experienced insurance company. A company that has been in the market for quite some time and has maintained a balance of rates and rewards and sound risk selection with moderate rate increases over time is your best bet.

*The plan must be flexible, with a wide range of options and benefit selections for the insured. There should be no tricks or complicated language for the reporting. An incredibly low rate is a red flag for problems in the future.

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* Don’t rush or be rushed by an overly aggressive salesperson.

This policy will not come cheap and will need to be read and reviewed for a clear understanding of the content. This is an advantage of the Internet. You are allowed unlimited reading before trading.

A long-term care program, with or without insurance coverage, will only work if the senior has input into the care selection process. If there are questions about a facility’s accreditation, call the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission at 202-783-7286.