When deciding on choosing health insurance plan for your parents, you need to consider some essential things. Today, we will discuss the 5 Most Important Things you need to be aware of while choosing your parents’ right health insurance plan.
First of all, you should know that Health Insurance for your parents is necessary and most parents don’t ask their children for help while choosing the right health insurance plan. It would be best if you indeed asked your parents about such things before they do it by themselves. By knowing these 5 Important things while choosing a health insurance plan, you can easily choose the right one for your parents.
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1. What Does Health-Care or Medicare Include?
Following the original Medicare, it provides insurance for Part A and Part B.
- Part A(which includes inpatient hospital care)
- Part B(which includes physician office visits, preventive care, etc.)
Prescription Drugs or Part D are not included in an original Medicare. Still, they are also part of the Medicare Advantage Plan in some cases. You may also consider buying coverage for these other services through another insurance firm.
2. Types of Insurance My Parents Are Eligible For and Process of Coverage
If your parents are 65 or about to turn 65, you need to know which health insurance plans they are eligible for. We have discussed some of the health insurance plans briefly below to give you a hint of what to know while choosing health insurance.
At 65 years of age, if your parents are permanent citizens of the US or a citizen for five years paying Social Security Taxes for ten years, they will be considered eligible for Medicare.
In case your parents are still working at a company with over 20 employees, and are covered by their employer or by a union-sponsored health insurance plan, then they are good to go until they retire.
But suppose that your parents are working in a company with less than 20 employees. In that case, they need to apply for Medicare Part A and Part B. Although, seniors are automatically enrolled from the moment they begin to receive money from Social Security. Still, in some cases, the parents don’t want to receive the money in the first place. For them, it is still essential to sign up for Medicare when they turn 65 to avoid the possibility of having any late enrollment penalties. They can use Medigap Policies together with Original Medicare to expand the coverage.
If your parents are not eligible for Medicare, they can still buy insurance from their States Exchange. But suppose they are eligible and are buying insurance because they are not enrolled in Medicare. In that case, they will not receive any tax credits. They are not allowed to sign up for both Medicare and Insurance through Health Exchanges.
Your parents can buy insurance from a Health Insurer. But the insurer will likely direct them to Medicare-Specified products, such as Medigap Policy or Medicare Advantage.
It is possible for your parents to be still working after turning 65. Because then they can have the Retiree Health Benefit. But if they do retire, they will still be allowed to enroll because of a special enrollment period. They will not be charged with a late enrollment penalty.
If your parents have retiree insurance, they have to enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B. It is because of the coordination rule that says Medicare is the primary payer. In case two plans cover a person’s expenses, there are rules for coordination of benefits, which determines the plan that pays first.
3. How Much My Parents’ Coverage Will Cost?
The most important factor when selecting an health insurance plan for your parents is knowing about the related costs of the plan you select. Medicare Plans issued through private insurance come with out-of-pocket expenses. So here are some questions that you should know the answer to.
- Premiums: How much will your parents pay on a monthly basis?
- Deductibles: How much money should your parents spend before their health insurance plan payment comes into effect?
- Coinsurance: Will, your parents, be responsible for the percentage of the cost of the health insurance plan?
- Copayment: Will your parents, have to pay a flat fee for health services?
Some health insurance plans have low premiums that could save your family a lot of money. Still, health insurance plans with out-of-pocket expenses may become more costly as well.
4. Which Providers Can My Parents see?
Suppose your parents choose Original Medicare or both the Original Medicare and Medigap Policy. In that case, they will be able to see any participating Medicare Provider. Mostly, Medicare Advantages are Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO’s) or Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). With HMO, your parents are required to see the in-network providers. With PPO, they are required to see out-of-network providers or the ones they are acquainted with. In that case, they will probably pay more. But your parents should know that the networks are easily changed with little notice. Furthermore, you should also understand the type of financial liability with going out of network.
5. How To Cover Out-Of-Pocket Expenses for My Parents?
Your parents might have contributed to a health savings account in the past. Those contributions can be used as a mechanism to cover up the out-of-pocket expenses for your parents. But after being enrolled in Medicare, they are not eligible to contribute to HSA, but they are allowed to use the funds for approved medical costs.
Other Things You Can Do to Help
Ask your parents about their current health conditions and also about the list of their doctors.
- Furthermore, you should also ask them about their annual health expenses. Doing that will help you choose the right health insurance plan.
- You should also research the different Medicare options that are available out there.
- If your parents are planning on working after they turn 65, ask them about the period for which they will continue to work and keep reminding them about applying for the Medicare plans.
- Depending on what they are after, like choosing from Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage Coverage, help them receive quotes from reputable insurance companies and licensed brokers.
- Review and compare the coverage options presented to you so that you may choose the most efficient one.
- After being covered, make sure to tell them to take advantage of the preventive and screening services covered by Medicare.
Although it is very hard to select the best health insurance plan for your parents, you can easily narrow down your choices to choose the most cost-effective plan for your parents after understanding the coverage, expenses, eligibility, and networks.