What Are My Health Insurance Options?
Do I need a cancer insurance plan? This question is often heard, so the question becomes: what health insurance products do I need? While this column will give you ideas, contact your insurance professional for advice. First, what is insurance and what can it do for me? Insurance will help assure that you will be able to access needed medical care, protect and preserve your assets, help maintain a current standard of living, and can help keep a business running.
Health insurance will help assure that you will be able to access needed medical services and protect your assets. This is true if you need a medical plan and you are under age 65, or if you are over 65 and on Medicare. Most people need health insurance and have it from work or buy it individually. Children, and pregnant mothers with limited incomes may qualify for subsidized coverage through AllKids. People with health conditions can access health insurance through ICHIP. Some people have secured coverage through IPXP (an Illinois Pre-existing health plan). On 7/1/2013 this program was changed to and is now run through a federal plan named Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP). Remember, ACA – Health Care Reform is coming 1/1/14. Your health insurance agent may be able to help you with both exchange and non-exchange plans.
People on Medicare can help with out of pocket expenses by enrolling in a Medicare Advantage (MA) Plan or if they want original Medicare, apply for a Medicare Supplement (gapfiller). Most people on Medicare should also consider a MedicareRX (prescription) Plan or a MA plan including drug coverage.
Disability insurance (DI) will replace your income in the case you are sick or hurt and not able to work. Just think for a moment: if you are working and you get sick or hurt, how will you pay for your bills? Note: A 30-year-old man has a one in five chance of suffering a long-term disability (more than 90 days) before his planned retirement. A 30-year-old woman has a one in three chance. Social Security Disability will help many people after 5 months if they will be disabled for longer than one year, but this benefit isn’t usually approved or paid until after twelve months of a qualified disability. Unfortunately, many people do not consider DI until its too late.
How will a family make their house, car and loan payments if the breadwinner dies? Life insurance provides funds for burial, but more importantly allows a family to maintain a decent lifestyle. Estate and business planning should also consider if funds are needed if/when owner or key employee dies.
Long term care insurance (LTCi) helps pay for care in a nursing home or other qualified healthcare facility. LTCi may also help pay for needed home care expenses once again to help assure you access medical services and protect your nest egg. In most cases LTC is considered as children leave the home (age 50 – 65) and life insurance needs may lessen.
When considering any insurance product: First, realistically consider your situation and needs. Key facts include one’s age, health, benefits available to them already, family and financial situation. Note: all insurance plans list their benefits, limitations and exclusions. ALWAYS read this information carefully and ask questions of a professional insurance agent. While you can buy insurance online, you will pay the same premiums if you purchased from a professional agent. This writer believes Cancer and Accident Plans should only be purchased after considering the plans appropriate for your situation.