There’s no way to overstate the fact that healthcare is enormously expensive and near impossible for most people to access without the help of an insurance plan. That’s why understanding how to find health insurance for seniors without Medicare is critically important. As a senior citizen, if you find yourself without Medicare coverage because you’ve retired early or for any other reason, you need to figure out a new plan for your insurance coverage. Finding yourself in a situation without health care coverage in the more vulnerable stages of your life is a recipe for financial disaster.
As we age, instances of hospitalization become more and more likely, even if they are just for small issues. With the costs of healthcare, these small issues can stack up to become very large bills. This is one reason why finding adequate health insurance for seniors without Medicare is a necessity. Going without any healthcare coverage can literally be the difference between financial stability and breaking the bank.
Understanding why some seniors may not qualify for Medicare and what they can do as an alternative is vital to maintain financial independence.
Understanding why some seniors don’t qualify for Medicare
The primary reason some seniors would not qualify for Medicare is because of early retirement. Medicare eligibility kicks in at age 65 (although some exceptions could allow earlier enrollment). If you lose the healthcare coverage you had through work because of retirement, you need to find coverage for those gap years.
It’s also possible that you may not qualify for Medicare if you or your spouse don’t have a sufficient work record in the United States. While this can be a problem, you can still buy into the Medicare program. The cost of buying into Medicare part A can change depending on you and your spouse’s working record in the United States and how much you have paid in Medicare taxes over your lifetime.
Premiums will either be $499 per month or $274 per month, depending on your working history (for 2022).
Consider this information for health insurance for seniors without Medicare
Some confusion comes with the different parts of Medicare that exist. Technically there are four parts (A, B, C, and D). Part A is hospital insurance, and part B covers doctor visits. You can buy part B without part A but must enroll in part B if you purchase part A. Part D is for prescriptions; you can buy into part D if you are enrolled in either part A or part B. Pact C is the private insurance Medicare Advantage Plan which you can only purchase if you are already enrolled in both parts A and B.
This can get confusing when taken all at once, but it gets easier to grasp when you break it down to its actual meaning. You can get coverage for hospital visits without having coverage to see doctors. You can’t have the Advantage plan without having both of the basic plans. And, you need at least one of the basic plans to be able to get coverage for prescriptions.
Contact a health insurance agent to clarify whether you are eligible for Medicare and figure out which plans would be best for you.
Are you seeking health insurance for seniors without Medicare? What kinds of questions do you have about Medicare qualifications?
Nancy Zambell has spent 30 years educating and helping individual investors navigate the minefields of the financial industry. As a lecturer and educator, Nancy has led seminars for individual investors at the National Association of Investors, Investment Expo and the Money Show. She has also taught finance, economics and banking at the college level, and has been quoted extensively in The Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, USA Today, and BusinessWeek. Now let her give you the tools and resources, including a monthly magazine, for gaining the peace-of-mind to live comfortably now and in retirement in her Cabot Money Club.Learn More >>
*This post has been updated from a version published in 2021.