Continuing Care: Tips for Buying Private Health Insurance at 60 Years Old

Posted on December 23, 2018

According to Global News, a poll revealed that 74 percent of people believe that rising medical costs will be a problem as they age. You may already face expensive private health insurance at 60 years old.

Seniors may find it difficult to find private health insurance to cover their medical expenses, but there are options to make it easier.

Are you working but need a plan to pay for extra services that are not currently covered? Or are you a senior that recently lost your group benefits? Private health insurance protects you, but finding the right plan is challenging.

Here are some tips to follow when buying a private health insurance plan.

Talk to a Private Insurance Broker or Agent

An insurance broker or agent makes the process of getting private insurance easier.

Coverage can vary depending on your province or territory, so you have to pay for certain medical services yourself.

Some of these out-of-pocket services may include:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Therapy and injury recovery
  • Mobility medical equipment
  • Dental care
  • Vision care (glasses and contact lenses)

Talking to a private insurance agent can help you get a plan to cover these expenses not covered by group benefits. Your individual needs may be unique especially as you age. For example, you may need medical equipment that isn't covered by other plans.

Insurance agents recommend a solution that fits all your requirements. Plus, you can talk to your agent if you need to make changes to your plan or if you have questions.

Since a private insurance agent works for you, they remove the stress of finding the right plan. There are many benefits to an insurance agent, but you can also choose a plan on your own.

Understand What Kind of Coverage You Need

Before picking your plan, evaluate your needs. Understand what the government covers and what you need to pay for yourself. This will help you decide what kind of coverage you need.

These are things you should consider:

  • Specific health issues the plan covers
  • The covered cost of your prescription medications if any
  • The cost or need for physiotherapy
  • The cost or need for certain medical equipment
  • Look at the maximum coverage
  • Find a deductible that works for you financially
  • How much your copay will be
  • Do you want a private or semi-private hospital room?
  • Do you need dental or vision coverage?
  • Do you want a higher deductible with more coverage? Or a low deductible with less coverage?
  • Do you need a guaranteed acceptance plan?

Once you understand what your needs are, you can pick a plan that fits all of your requirements. As you age, you may find you need more coverage. Consider your current situation as well as any future medical expenses and emergencies.

Consider Your Eligibility Status and Guaranteed Acceptance Plans

As you age, you may find it harder to find a private health insurance plan because of a pre-existing illness or medical condition. You may not qualify for certain plans because of strict eligibility factors.

This can make it difficult for seniors to find a plan that they are eligible for, but there are options. Guaranteed acceptance plans might be the best option if you have an illness or condition that prevents you from enrolling in other plans.

What you should consider before enrolling in a guaranteed acceptance plan

Don't know what a guaranteed acceptance plan is? A guaranteed policy is a type of insurance offered regardless of your health status. This means that even if you have a pre-existing condition or illness, you still qualify.

The premium costs can be high, especially for older adults. But if you have a pre-existing medical condition, the cost may be worth the coverage benefits. Certain guaranteed policies have different payment options such as credit card, check, or auto-deductions.

It's important to understand that your coverage is still lower than other plans.

In Good Health? Consider a Medically Underwritten Policy

Canadians know that private health care plans come in two varieties: benefits from work and personal health insurance. Employee benefits (also known as group benefits) are only offered through an employer.

But if you don't have group benefits or need supplementary coverage, you may be looking for personal health insurance. These medically underwritten plans cannot be terminated as long as premiums get paid.

A guaranteed acceptance plan doesn't need a medical exam, but usually has less coverage than a medically underwritten plan. The premiums are also usually higher for seniors.

If you are in good health at age 60 without any existing medical conditions, you may only need an underwritten plan.

Certain conditions and illnesses may affect your eligibility for private health insurance. Take your medical history into consideration when deciding on the best plan for you.

Bonus Tip: Look into Drug Benefit Programs

Depending on where you live, there are different drug benefit programs that help you pay for your prescriptions.

You may not qualify for certain programs depending on your age and living situation. For example, if you are looking for Alberta health care for seniors, you need to prove you are 65 or older to qualify for senior coverage. However, certain programs allow you to apply earlier if you live in a long-term care home or meet other requirements.

Learn more about territorial and provincial benefit programs to find out if you can get help paying for your prescriptions.

Enrolling in Health Insurance at 60 Years Old Made Easy

Obtaining private health insurance at 60 years old can be a daunting task, but if you follow these tips you can make the process easier.

Remember, consider your health status and any prescriptions or medical equipment you need. If you are in good health, you can get a medically underwritten plan. If you find it difficult to qualify for coverage, you can get a guaranteed acceptance plan.

You may also qualify for other benefits depending on where you live. Talk to an insurance broker if you need help finding the best plan for you.

Looking for more helpful tips? Check out our blog to learn more about health insurance.

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