Who Needs Private Health Insurance In Middle Age ?
Actually a lot of younger baby boomers are concerned about health insurance today. Many get covered through group major medical plans, but millions more do not have that luxury. The issue of finding affordable private health plans is a large one, and it is a growing one. I know many middle aged people who are counting the days until they turn 65 so they can enroll in Medicare!
Health reform promises some relief, but it has not been fully implemented yet. So what can you do, as a middle aged baby boomer, to find a private health plan today?
Some Issues With Finding Cheaper Private Major Medical Insurance For 50 to 64 Year Olds
- The fact that a person is older will put them into a more expensive premium band all by itself. As you probably know, a 30 year old will generally be much cheaper to insure than a 55 year old, even if they are both in good health.
- People who are over 50 start to develop some of the problems of middle age. Issues like high blood pressure or diabetes are more common. So a middle aged person has a much higher chance of being rated up or declined because of a health condition.
Be Wary of Guaranteed Acceptance Health Plans
I see a lot of products that are being marketed to middle aged people as guaranteed acceptance health plans. Clever marketers make these seem like these plans are the cheap answer to your health coverage needs. The issue here is that these health plans are usually discount plans, and they are not health insurance at all! The old adage about being careful about anything that seems to good to be true will certainly apply here.
Limited or Structured Benefit Insurance
Another product that is a bit better, but not much, are some structured benefit plans that promise easier acceptance. Often the limits on benefits are so low that these plans are not that valuable, and they still come with fairly hefty premiums. These are, technically, health insurance plans , but they are not major medical plans. The distinction is very important.
Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and High Deductible Major Medical Insurance
Here ls a solution that I do like for some older people who have trouble affording higher premiums for their age group. These HSA plans come in two parts. One part is a savings account. The first part is a savings account where any deposits are tax deductible up to IRS limits. The second part is a higher deductible major medical insurance policy. The idea behind the plan is that the consumers can save money by paying less for a higher deductible plan and by taking tax deductions.
- HSA plans tend to work well for disciplined savers who like control over their health costs.
- They will not work as well, of course, if the member never makes any contributions to the savings account.
- They will also not work if the applicant has a serious health condition, like diabetes, and can not get accepted to the major medical plan.
Pre-Existing Health Conditions
Every state has some way to deal with high risk people who have been declined for a major medical plan. In some states, these plans are quite expensive and they do not accept everybody either. Health reform promises some relief with the new federal high risk plan, but that is just beginning to get implemented. To get current information, please search for your state's high risk health plan or pool.