Senior Citizen Health Insurance After 65 and Retirement: What You Need to Know

Whether you’re a senior citizen yourself, or caring for one, the many benefits of senior citizen health insurance can help your loved ones live healthier and more financially secure lives. From healthcare discounts to perks at restaurants and retail stores, to programs that provide help paying Medicare-related costs like copays, coinsurance and deductibles, there are plenty of options available.

How to sign up for Medicare depends on your situation. If you already receive Social Security retirement benefits before turning 65, you’ll automatically be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, which cover hospital and medical insurance, respectively. If you’re not receiving Social Security benefits or haven’t applied for them, you’ll need to enroll during the 7-month Initial Enrollment Period that begins 3 months before the month you turn 65 and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65–you may have to pay a penalty if you sign up later.

If you have employer group health plan coverage Read the source through your current or former job that pays for more than half of your medical expenses, you can choose to keep that coverage instead of Medicare. Ask your health insurance provider for details. In some cases, signing up for Medicare during the Initial Enrollment Period could result in higher monthly Part B premiums than if you’d signed up before turning 65.

In addition to the Medicare programs, many states offer savings programs that can help with costs like prescription drug coverage and copays, coinsurance and deductibles for people with lower incomes. There are also some programs that can help with Medicare-related travel expenses.

According to research, lack of insurance prior to age 65 results in people qualifying for Medicare in worse health than if they had continuous coverage. This is a big concern because it could increase long-term spending on Medicare and Medicaid for new beneficiaries.

The best health insurance for seniors is the Medicare program, which provides a wide range of services and covers the most expensive healthcare needs. It was built into the system during your working years through a Medicare tax on income.

There are also other options if you’re an early retiree. Depending on your age and income, you can qualify for Medicaid, which is free or low-cost. Or, you can get supplemental coverage from the health insurance marketplace.

Ashish Yadav, head of products at Manipal Cigna Health Insurance, explains that if you or your parents buy a comprehensive individual indemnity health insurance policy before turning 65, the insurer can offer you a portability option allowing you to switch to a different policy after 65. Typically, most policies have an entry age limit of 65 years. However, this limit can be increased in specific policies that offer this feature based on the underwriting guidelines of the insurer. In some cases, the policy can even be renewed lifelong. However, there are other policies that have no maximum entry age, enabling you to continue your policy until your death.