Social Security Disability Benefits

Seniors who have a chronic or permanent medical condition may qualify to receive social security disability income (SSDI) payments from the federal government. To be covered by this program, you must meet work history and medical criteria.

Meeting the Work History Requirement

To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must have accumulated enough work credits. A worker can earn up to four work credits per year. Before 1978, a worker had to earn a minimum amount in each quarter of the year to earn a credit, but now credits are awarded based on the amount earned over the entire year. Thus it is possible for someone who is well paid to earn all four available credits for a year even if they didn’t work all four quarters of the year.

The required number of credits is dependent on the applicant’s age and tops out at 40. Here’s a breakdown of credits based on the age of disability onset:

  • Age 60 or over: 40 work credits required.
  • Age 43-59: The number required varies by age. The worker must have earned one credit for each year after turning 21 and including the year before the work became disabled. For example, a worker who becomes disabled at age 50 requires 28 work credits to qualify.
  • Age 31-42: A minimum of 20 credits is required.
  • Age 24-30: The number required varies by age, but is lowered to take into account their short work history. For example a 27-year-old only needs 12 credits.
  • Age 23 and under: The worker must have accumulated 6 credits during the 3-year period before the disability occurred.

Meeting the Definition of Disability

The Social Security medical definition of disability requires that you are unable to perform a “substantial” amount of work due to a physical or mental impairment that is expected to last at least 12 months, or possibly result in death. Applicants need to provide proof of both disability and their income.

What Qualifies as Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)

Social Security defines “substantial gainful activity,” or SGA, by how much you earn per month. For 2017, the amount is $1,170, or if you’re blind, $1,950. So if you’re working part time and not earning very much, you won’t automatically be declined for Social Security disability benefits. Income you earn from non-work sources, such as investment income, isn’t counted.

There are exceptions to the income cutoff. Claimants can argue that they only achieved their income because they were allowed to work under special conditions. Examples include:

  • Requiring help from other employees to perform work duties
  • Being permitted to work an unusual schedule or take extra rest breaks
  • Requiring special equipment or work especially suited to the person’s impairment
  • Having had a special opportunity to work due to a family relationship or special association with the employer

These and a few other circumstances can be used to make the case that the claimant’s income shouldn’t be counted as SGA.

At the other end of the spectrum, low income won’t automatically qualify you as unable to work. If the income is low because of the nature of the job rather than your ability to perform it, you may not qualify. Social Security can also consider extensive volunteer work, if it’s work that someone would normally be paid for, as proof of SGA.

So there are exceptions, but as a general guideline, people who work and earn more than the SGA threshold won’t be given benefits, unless they were working under special circumstances.

What qualifies as a disability?

Not every physical or mental impairment rises to the level of a disability. The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a massive “Listing of Impairments” that details disability criteria for specific conditions ranging from spinal injuries to depression to severe immune dysfunction. If your condition meets the criteria listed in it, you’ll be considered disabled.

Even if your condition doesn’t meet the criteria outlined in the Social Security’s impairment listing, you may still qualify as disabled. This process is officially called getting a “medical-vocational allowance.” To determine your eligibility for SSDI under this prong of the program, you’ll have to demonstrate that your condition prevents you from performing substantial work, or SGA.

In making the decision as to whether you are disabled, the SSA will start by looking at your last job and determining if they think you can still perform it. They will then consider if there is other work you could reasonably adjust to do. They look at your medical condition, age, education, and past work experience and consider transferable skills you may have. 

If you’re already receiving Social Security disability benefits when you reach full retirement age, your disability benefits will be converted to retirement benefits. The amount will remain the same.

Medicare Supplement Insurance: What You Need to Know

Medicare Supplement Insurance: What You Should Know

Medicare Supplement Insurance is sometimes also called Medigap. It essentially fills in the various gaps of coverage that would require you to pay out-of-pocket for doctor visits, nursing home expenses, and even prescriptions.

Who Can Get Medicare Supplement Insurance?
Medicare Supplement Insurance is made available to anyone who is at least 65 years of age and who has both Medicare Part A and B. It is also available to people who qualify for Medicare because of a disability and have both Part A and B.

Part A is provided by the federal government at no cost. Part B is also provided by the federal government but is a monthly expense. This will vary based upon income, though the average person (for 2017) will pay a monthly premium of $134.

What is Medicare Supplement Insurance?
Medicare Supplement Insurance is a way to cover all that Medicare doesn’t cover.

Medicare Part A will cover inpatient hospital care, hospice care, in-home physical therapy and part-time skilled nursing care, as well as blood transfusions after the first 3 pints of blood. It will also provide inpatient care at a religious, non-medical healthcare facility of a patient’s choosing.

Medicare Part B will cover more medical aspects, including durable medical equipment, diagnostic tests, screenings, chemotherapy, nursing care, doctor services, an initial physical exam as well as a yearly wellness exam. It will also cover ambulance services and some Pap smear and mammography screenings. It will also cover flu and pneumonia vaccinations.

There are still a lot of expenses that are not covered – and that’s what Medicare Supplement Insurance is used to cover.

There are a total of 9 coverage areas that Medigap will take care of. Four are covered by all of the plans while the remaining five are split among the various plans that are offered.

There are 10 plans that a person can choose from and will include a mixture of benefits that range from co-insurance and co-payments of hospice care and skilled nursing facility all the way to the deductibles for Medicare Part A and B. The plans might also encompass excess charges for Part B as well as foreign travel emergency expenses.

The 10 plans are available throughout all states, with the exception of Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The plans are the same in terms of coverage regardless of the insurance provider. This means that it’s important to first decide on the plan and then shop different companies based on price as well as long-term pricing structures, which change as you get older.

The Different Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans
The various Medicare Supplement Insurance are all given a different letter. Regardless of the letter, they will all contain coverage in four areas. This includes:

  • First three pints of blood for a transfusion
  • Co-insurance expenses from Part A hospital care
  • Co-insurance/co-payment expenses from Part A hospice care
  • Co-insurance/co-payment expenses from Part B
  1. Plan F is the most common of the Medigap plans and that’s because it provides coverage across all areas. In addition to the four things above, a person would have deductibles for Part A and Part B covered, the Part A skilled nursing care co-insurance, Part B excess charges, as well as foreign travel emergency (80%) expenses covered.
  2. Plan A: All four of the main areas
  3. Plan B: All four of the main areas + deductible for Part A
  4. Plan C: All four of the main areas + deductibles for Part A and B and co-insurance for skilled nursing care in Part A + foreign travel emergency (80%)
  5. Plan D: All four of the main areas + deductible for Part A and co-insurance for skilled nursing care + foreign travel emergency (80%)
    Plan F: Coverage in all areas
  6. Plan G: All four of the main areas + deductible for Part A and co-insurance for skilled nursing care + Part B excess charges + foreign travel emergency (80%)
  7. Plan K: All four of the main areas at 50% with exception of co-insurance costs for hospital care for Part A. For 2017, individuals must spend $5120 out-of-pocket prior to receiving reimbursement for other medical expenses. 50% of the deductible for Part A + co-insurance for nursing care is also included.
  8. Plan L: Similar to K with the exception that it is all at 75% and the out-of-pocket yearly limit for 2017 is $2560.
  9. Plan M: All four main areas + 50% of deductible for Part A, Part A co-insurance for skilled nursing care + foreign travel emergency (80%)
  10. Plan N: All four main areas + deductible for Part A, co-insurance for skilled nursing care + foreign travel emergency (80%)

    In the end, it’s important to compare the various plans and determine where you need the coverage. Then, get quotes from multiple providers of Medical Supplement Insurance to get the best overall premiums.
Sources:

Mobility Issues and Seniors

Most members of America’s aging population would probably like to live independently if at all possible. However, for many elderly people, mobility issues can limit their lives. The U.S. Census Bureau notes that of the 15.7 million people age 65 and older who had a disability between 2008 and 2012, two-thirds reported difficulty in walking or climbing. In addition to limiting an elderly person’s activities, mobility problems can increase the risk of falls.

Mobility Issues

Seniors usually develop mobility problems because of muscle weakness, joint problems, chronic pain, diseases and neurological difficulties. Sometimes people have more than one reason for mobility problems. In many cases, people become less active as they age; this often occurs very slowly and the individual doesn’t realize how serious it has become. Decreased activity results in gradual loss of muscle strength. Mobility problems can take the form of difficulty getting out of a chair, climbing stairs or simply walking across the room.
Falls

Falls can cause a vicious cycle. Once an individual falls, he or she may become less active in the hopes that it will decrease the risk of another fall. A fall may also result in weakness or a guarded gait, which affects balance. On the other hand, when people are afraid of falling, they often become less active, which makes a fall more likely due to loss of muscle strength, balance and coordination problems. Falls can be dangerous in the elderly because of the risk of head injuries and broken bones.

Indoors vs. Outdoors

Some people do fine in the familiar surroundings of their own homes, but have difficulty on crowded streets or when they need to step up or down a curb or climb the steps to get on a bus. Uneven ground in the yard can pose problems for the elderly person whose balance is not ideal. Another issue related to mobility in the elderly is the ability to drive. An older person’s hearing and vision may be diminished, and slowed reaction times are also more common. Some seniors stop driving entirely, while others continue to drive but may be placing themselves and others at risk.

Improve the Environment

One of the first things to do when helping seniors with mobility problems is to ensure the safest possible environment. Throw rugs, for example, increase the risk of tripping and should be removed unless they have a heavy, solid, non-slip backing. Stairs should have good railings that are solidly fastened to the walls. Ramps may be safer than stairs in an outdoor environment. Mount safety rails in bathrooms, especially in the shower or tub. Make sure the home is well-lighted and remove items like footstools or decorative tables that may pose a risk.

Increase Activity

No matter how old someone is, exercise has many benefits. Many strengthening exercises, such as leg lifts, can be performed in a chair. It’s particularly important to focus on strengthening the large muscles in the thighs (the quadriceps muscles) as they are so important for weight-bearing. Hand weights next to the chair can encourage arm exercises. Even seniors who must use a cane or walker can benefit from a walk. Exercise classes geared specifically for seniors are often available and may even be free. Swimming is another good exercise for seniors who may have trouble with weight-bearing exercise and aquatic exercise offers resistance to help build strength. It’s important to wear shoes with good support for any exercise activity that involves walking or standing.

Other Strategies

For seniors who want or need to keep driving, regular eye exams are very important. The right glasses can make a big difference. Sometimes seniors become less active because they become isolated. Regular social or volunteer activities can be stimulating as well as keeping them more active. Volunteering also helps them feel useful and an important part of society. Getting enough sleep is also important, as people who are tired may not have the energy to be active. However sleeping pills can be dangerous to seniors and should be avoided in most cases. A cool, dark room, comfortable bed and limited or no caffeine may be all a senior needs to sleep well.Whether you are the senior or a senior’s child or caregiver, there are many things you can do to help with mobility problems. Professional help is also available, such as physical therapy to help strengthen muscles and promote balance or a home safety assessment to lessen fall risks. Don’t let mobility issues darken the days of the senior in your life.

Home Care Services for Senior

Many elderly people want to stay in their own homes as they age. However, an unexpected illness or injury or gradually increasing frailty can make that more difficult. Luckily, there are many home care options available.

Assess the Situation

The first step in deciding whether home care services can meet an elder’s needs is to evaluate the situation. For example, is the home located in an urban setting where services are readily available or in a more remote rural setting? Can the living quarters be easily accessed or can the home be modified with ramps and similar changes? Is there any support from family and/or friends? What is the client’s financial situation? All of these factors will have an impact on what services are available.What is Home Care?

Home care services typically fall into certain categories. These may encompass basic home support, transportation, nursing care, specialty medical care and respite care for caregivers.
Household Care
A home takes considerable maintenance. For example, gardening and yard work, painting, general maintenance and repairs are required on a regular basis. The interior of the house also requires cleaning. Then there are activities such as laundry and dishes, and the usual “business” activities such as paying bills and scheduling appointments. All of these services are available in many locations.
Transportation
Transportation services may be very important in allowing elderly people to remain in the home. In the city, buses and taxis are usually available, as are services like Uber. Seniors may have the option of reduced fares in some cases. Medical vans are available in many locations for seniors who have disabilities.
Personal Care
A home health aide can provide assistance with many of the activities involved in daily living. Sometimes called custodial care, this can include assistance with bathing and other hygiene activities, assistance with meals – including meal preparation – shopping or transportation. In some areas, home health aides may also be able to help supervise medications or take a patient’s blood pressure.
Health Care
Health care services typically fall into one of two categories – nursing care and specialty care. The first includes the full range of nursing services, such as medication administration, dressing changes and other skilled services. Specialty care is provided by health care professionals such as physical therapists, occupational therapists or respiratory therapists.


Care Providers

Although many family members are ready and willing to help a senior who lives alone, others may have time limitations or live too far away. Sometimes neighbors can help as well. A church group or similar community organization may be able to provide some services. Care providers may be independent contractors or work for organizations like a hospital or home health agency. In the first case, the senior or his/her family members pay the contractor directly and must take care of all employment issues such as interviews, background checks, hiring, taxes, Social Security and payroll. In the second, those services are provided by the agency. One of the advantages of an agency is that they will handle all legal issues and payroll, perform extensive background checks and have multiple caregivers on the payroll to cover all times of the day and night. Full-service agencies usually bond their employees. Full-service agencies are more expensive, however. A registry falls somewhere between the two options – it is less expensive but does not offer the full range of personnel management services.

How to Hire In-Home Caregivers

The initial hiring process is key to getting the kind of services and person you want and need. Hiring someone to come and do yard work once or twice a week is very different from hiring someone to perform hands-on personal care. Begin by looking for community resources – contact the local hospital and organizations dedicated to the needs of the older adult. Check the phone book and ask for reverences from friends, family or neighbors. Always interview more than one candidate if at all possible. Develop a specific list of tasks and expectations and if you’re hiring an independent provider, have a contract to spell out all the details. Confirm fees if working with an agency. Check references and do background checks on your top candidates. The internet, local police, legal aid and local attorneys may be able to help in this process. If things don’t seem to be working out, don’t hesitate to hire a new provider.
Good research and careful preparation can allow you or a loved one to find the necessary support. You can also access community resources other than those mentioned here. Home care can make a big difference in an older person’s ability to continue living at home in relative independence. 

References:
http://www.californiamedicaresupplementinsurance.com

Long Term Care Insurance

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 70% of 65-year-olds will need some type of long-term care in the years to come. As the baby boomer generation gets older, many find themselves considering how they will take care of themselves later in life.
Long-term care — which can include home care, adult day care, assisted living, or a nursing home facility — can be expensive and quickly eat away at your savings, potentially reducing or eliminating your ability to leave something behind for your loved ones.

According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of even a semi-private room in nursing home is $6,800 per month ($81,600 per year) while a home health aide costs about $3,800 per month ($45,600).

Long-term care insurance is one way to prepare for the high cost of care if you ever need long-term care in your home or a facility. This type of insurance covers many services that aren’t covered by regular health insurance and it can defray the costs of managing a chronic medical condition. Here’s what you should know about long-term care insurance.

How Does Long-Term Care Insurance Work?

Regular health insurance will not cover long-term care but Medicare will not help, either, as it only covers limited types of home health care and short nursing home stays. Long-term care insurance is a form of insurance that covers long-term care services such as help with routine daily activities and medical care.

 When a long-term care policy is activated, it will reimburse you a daily amount for services up to a pre-determined limit. This type of policy can cover the expenses of managing a disability, chronic health condition, or disorder like Alzheimer’s by reimbursing you for care provided in many settings. As a general rule, a comprehensive long-term care policy will cover:

  • Home care in which an individual or agency provides help with daily activities like bathing, cooking, and housekeeping.
  • Assisted living in which residents live in apartment-style units. When needed, services like meal delivery and personal care assistance is provided.
  • Nursing home. Nursing homes are residential centers that offer skilled health care, personal care, daily activities, and rehab around the clock.
  • Adult day care in which you receive daytime support, social, and health services in a supervised setting.
  • Alzheimer’s care.

How to Save on Long-Term Care Insurance

It’s important to educate yourself before purchasing an insurance policy so you are sure you can afford the premiums and understand the type of coverage you will receive. There are a few steps you can take to keep your policy premiums as affordable as possible while maximizing your benefits:

  • Don’t wait too long to buy. The younger you are when you buy long-term care insurance, the lower your premiums will be. Experts recommend buying long-term care insurance when you are in your 50s and in good health. If you wait too long, you’re facing higher premiums and a higher risk of a serious medical condition that can deny you coverage.
  • Read the policy. Long-term care policies vary a great deal in terms of what is covered and what you need to do for coverage. While some companies allow you to hire nonlicensed or independent providers or even family members, others require using services from a certified agency or licensed care professional. Check that your policy covers the types of services and facilities you will want and can access in your community. You will also want to know the policy’s benefit triggers, or the conditions that must be met before you receive benefits.
  • Compare rates. Because premiums for long-term care insurance can vary a great deal, it’s a good idea to do comparison shopping among several carriers.
  • Adjust your coverage. You can make your policy premiums more affordable by adjusting the terms of coverage of the policy. You may want to limit the term of the policy or choose a longer elimination period (or period before coverage kicks in).

Is Long-Term Care Insurance a Good Option?

No one wants to think that they may be frail or unable to care for themselves one day, but it’s a future that many encounter. Even if you have loved ones who are willing to care for you, they may be unable to provide the level of care you need due to insufficient time, living too far away, lacking the technical know-how, or lacking strength and health of their own. Most family caregivers are spouses, but the average spousal caregiver is almost 63 years old, according to AARP.

It’s also unwise to rely on Medicare and Medicaid for the assistance you may need one day. Medicare does not cover long-term care (including nursing home care) if that’s all you need. Many family members and seniors also assume Medicaid will pay for the cost of long-term care, but this coverage only kicks in once you meet functional and financial criteria. Until you are no longer able to perform daily living activities on your own and spend virtually all of your savings, Medicaid won’t help.

Keep in mind long-term care policies take effect immediately should you need the coverage sooner than you expect. Long-term care insurance is a valuable form of protection to get ahead of ever-increasing health care costs and protect your savings.

Sources:

Medical Alert and Home Safety

With the constant advances in modern medicine, people are living longer and fuller lives than ever before. One of the challenges that a family faces as parents and grandparents get older is the need to balance safety with a sense of personal freedom.
Today’s seniors are active people who don’t want to give up their independence in exchange for safety. Of course, there are risks associated with aging that must be addressed. Falls, health crises, fires and break-ins all pose a potential risk, especially to the senior citizen who lives on their own. For information on Long Term Healthcare, click here.

Fortunately, there are many products on the market that can provide a sense of comfort for both seniors and their families, while allowing the elderly an opportunity to live on their own and enjoy their lives the way they want to.

Medical Alert Systems For Falls and Accidents

There are many devices on the market today that help the active senior live an independent life. Medical Alert Systems are typically worn as either a necklace or watch style device, with buttons used to alert and communicate with trained operators prepared to call in the help required by the situation.

Some brands have sensors that can detect a fall even if the senior is unable to push the button to signal for help. No matter whether you have suffered an injury from a fall, feel the beginnings of a heart attack coming on, smell smoke or hear the sound of a possible intruder, these operators are just the click of a button away, ready to contact your local fire department or police station and send the help you need.

24/7 Response

Operators associated with your medical alert device are available at all hours of the day and night. No one knows when you might suffer an injury from a fall or feel the stirrings of a medical emergency.

Well trained operators are ready to ask important questions and get you the help you need. Most models allow the operator to stay on the line with you until emergency personal show up, calming and comforting while ensuring that the emergency staff are by your side before hanging up. Some models even include a GPS to assist seniors who might get lost or disoriented when out and about.

This is particularly important for those seniors who might be suffering from early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, but desperately desire to remain independent for as long as possible.

Easy To Use

Medical Alert Systems are simple to set up and easy to use. When the system arrives, you need only plug the base into a wall socket, connect a phone line and go. The large button is much easier to press than dialing a phone and access to a trained operator is immediate.

The pendant or bracelet is easy to wear, water-proof and small enough to be hidden under clothing while remaining durable enough for everyday life. With just the touch of a button you have the sense of security that someone is there to help no matter the situation.

Piece Of Mind At An Affordable Price

Available in a variety of options such as with landline, without landline, and on the go, Medical Alert Systems can be ordered for a low monthly cost, no hidden fees or activation costs included. Simply choose the best option for your life and pay a single monthly bill.

There’s no contracts to sign or long term commitments involved. Add extras such as fall detection for an additional fee, included on your monthly billing and enjoy the security that even if you have fallen and cannot push the button, help will be dispatched.

People these days are enjoying active lifestyles and greater health. Seniors are no exception. Give your family a sense of security that your safety is well in hand while continuing to enjoy the personal freedom you crave. Medical Alert Systems are the perfect way to balance security and independence for the senior on the go.

Sources:

Alzheimers & Memory Care

Alzheimers & Memory Care

According to researchers, more than 28 million baby boomers will develop Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s, a form of dementia, is considered by some as the defining disease of that generation. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, but more importantly, the disease presents very real challenges in care. Alzheimer’s or memory care is a specialized form of long-term care that’s designed to meet the specific needs of people with Alzheimer’s or dementia with 24-hour supervised care, personal care services, and more.

What is Memory Care?
Memory care is a specialized form of care that includes a range of services depending on the severity of a senior’s symptoms. While people with early Alzheimer’s disease may just need cues to help them perform tasks, others require a secure setting to prevent them from wandering away and getting lost or hurt. Security is essential as an estimated 60% of people with Alzheimer’s will wander.

Memory care exceeds the level of services and security traditionally offered in a long-term care facility. While assisted living and memory care both include housekeeping, meal preparation, and laundry services, memory care also increase more advanced help with daily activities. In many cases, activities offered in a memory care facility are designed to help the person reconnect with favorite interests.

Many assisted living and nursing home facilities today offer entire neighborhoods or wings devoted to residents who need memory care. These centers are usually designed in a way to reduce stress and prevent wandering. Many have natural light, a circular design for safe wandering, and door alarms, and memory boxes outside each room to help residents find their home.

Most memory care treatment centers can accommodate people in the early, middle, and late stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia with a low staff-to-resident ratio for greater supervision.

Services Offered in a Memory Care Facility
Memory care centers may offer a range of therapeutic, leisure, and medical programs that differ from assisted living. This may include:

  • Leisure programs. Most memory care communities offer leisure programs and activities designed to reduce stress among residents. These programs may include listening to soft jazz and classical music, aromatherapy, sensory games, and puzzles.
  • Therapeutic programs. These programs can address memory impairment, wandering, and behavior typically associated with dementia for improved quality of life.
  • Behavioral management programs to address harmful behavior common among people with Alzheimer’s.
  • Uniquely designed community with circular design for safe wandering, brightly color-coded sections to help residents find their way, and memory boxes.
  • Security with door alarms/locks, a lower staff-to-resident ratio, and other strategies to reduce injuries and elopement.

The Cost of Memory Care
Assisted living and memory care can both be costly options, although the cost of long-term care will depend on many factors like geographic area, the size of a room or apartment, whether the space is shared with another resident, and what services are needed.

Assisted living usually has a base monthly rate that covers room and board and two or three meals each day. On average, a one-bedroom assisted living apartment costs $3,300 per month. Additional services like housekeeping and laundry are extra. Because memory care is a specialized service, the cost tends to be much higher. A home in a dedicated memory care facility costs about $5,000 per month on average.

On both cases, there are options to help pay for memory care and reduce out-of-pocket expenses. This may include Medicare, Medicaid, veterans’ benefits, and long-term care insurance.

Is Memory Care the Right Choice?
Assisted living may be a great choice if a loved one is still relatively independent and able to perform some activities. When a loved one has more complex care needs with memory impairment, dedicated memory care is typically the best option. A memory care community can come with many benefits over assisted living, including:

  • Reduction in the use of medication and medication side effects.
  • Decreased injuries and falls through greater supervision.
  • Fewer incidents involving violence from other residents due to behavioral programs.
  • Greater independence and social interaction through a uniquely designed community, a community dining room, and social and leisure programs.
  • Improved or maintained cognitive functioning in many patients.

Senior Health Care Supplemental Insurance

Today, there are more than 500 million seniors across the world. People are living longer because of significant technological advancement in the medical and pharmaceutical fields. It is estimated that the number of senior people in the world is bound to increase.

According to current demograpic reports, individuals above the age of 65 living in USA were 40 million in 2010. It is also estimated that by 2030, elderly persons will make 72 million of the total population in the country.

Access to better health care services helps in promoting longevity, and as individuals continue to get older, so is the advancement of healthcare services and the need for enhanced senior health insurance.

At 65 years or older, you have a few options to secure a senior health insurance. Since the healthcare cost continues to rise, your one medical insurance plan may not be enough to cover your medical needs fully.

Moreover, as you age, the more you get exposed to diseases, so it is vital that you get a proper health insurance plan. As you go shopping for your senior health coverage, it is important that you get a better understanding of the options available for you and get everyone around you involved.

Here are some of the senior healthcare insurance options available for you.

• Private health insurance
• Medicare supplement insurance
• Medicaid
• Medicare

Private Health Insurance
Most seniors are never confident about getting a pocket-friendly medical insurance plan which can provide them with maximum coverage for their healthcare needs. Since most of them are already tired, they are always concerned with the rising medical expenses. This gives them enough reasons to search for an affordable health insurance plan.

However, if the rising medical costs aren’t a worry to you when trying to get a health insurance, then the private health insurance plan can provide you with the right healthcare coverage you need. This program can provide you with sufficient coverage without limitations. Nevertheless, you should get an independent manager to help you understand the plan and have all inclusions to avert gaps in coverage.

Medicare Supplemental Insurance
This insurance plan is meant to supplement Medicare. In this case, Medicare supplemental insurance offers coverage to healthcare services that are not taken care of by Medicare. This healthcare insurance plan is also referred to as ‘Medigap.’ As a senior and having enrolled for Medicare part A and B you qualify to take up this plan. Medigap plans will provide coverage for your excess healthcare expenses such as co-insurance, deductibles among others that are not covered in you Medicare Part A and B.

Medicare Supplemental insurance plan is offered by private insurers that cater to seniors. The premiums for Medicare vary according to coverage and insurers. As such, you have much freedom to pick the coverage plan right for your healthcare needs.

Medicare for Senior Medical Insurance Plan
Although this insurance plan can cover even younger persons with serious health issues and disabilities, it is a medical insurance program primarily for seniors of 65 years and above. This plan is divided into four categories.

1. Medicare Part A.
This part is also called hospital insurance plan because it is meant to cover home care and hospitalization expenses. It is free for seniors who worked for more than ten years and were able to pay their social security taxes. You will only be required to fill application forms to get the coverage.

2. Medicare part B
This part takes in medical insurance as well. It largely covers mental- health care, yearly check-ups, X-rays and doctor’s appointments. Unlike Part A, this plan isn’t free, and its coverage is limited. As such, there are annual premium payments for this plan. And once you are considered eligible for social security you automatically get registered.

3. Medicare Part C
This category allows you to get cover through private insurers. It is also known as Medicare Advantage, and its primary benefit is that it offers you better coverage as compared to A and B. However, you must first register for Medicare Part A and B to qualify. You can shop for a cost effective plan as costs vary according to providers.

4. Medicare Part C
This plan covers prescription drugs only. As such, it is essential for those seniors who are on medications on a regular basis. Hence if you are in this category, you might consider it. The plan is flexible since it takes a monthly premium based on the treatment expenses.

Medicaid
This is a medical insurance plan for those seniors who are in the low-income bracket. It is a federal program that is used in unification with Medicare. Medicaid helps the needy seniors by providing coverage for various health care services that Medicare does not cover. However, you need to follow certain procedures to ascertain you income limitations to qualify for enrollment.

As noted, there are different insurance options available for you and with several coverage combinations that you can pick, thus getting the best senior health insurances can be tricky. As such it is important to get and work with and independent insurance agent to guide you through choosing the right senior insurance plan.

The Complete Health Care Guide for Disabled Seniors

Disabled seniors need specialized health care to keep them strong at their age. When you are a senior living with a disability, there are activities that become burdensome for you to accomplish. This is why you need specialized health care that gives you the opportunity to live a high-quality life.

Health care, in general, is vital to society. The evidence can be observed on how it continues to be versatile. There are several changes in health care ranging from compensation, regulation by the government and checks and balances by various state authorities. Stiff competition among leading private healthcare providers also brings into question the undisputable importance of health care provision.

The elderly and the disabled have for a long time been forgotten in terms of medical care. Previously, many of these adults have relied on traditional Medicare. Are you one of them? Have you relied on traditional Medicare?

Currently, there have been developed several scopes geared towards providing the required health care to senior adults with disabilities. These include Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans, As a person with a disability and over 65 years of age, you have some health care options that should significantly add to the quality of your life. A Health Care guide will be most appropriate in guiding you on this topic.

The following guide will be crucial in helping you secure the best heath care option for your well being:

  1. Medicare
  2. Medicaid
  3. Private Insurance
  4. Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly
  5. Senior Health Insurance Assistance Programme(SHIP)
  6. Eye Care Assistance Programs

Medicare

This program may be categorically described as the traditional insurance program by the government. It aims at adults like you, above 65 years of age or one who has been disabled for two years. It is, however, important that you identify your best program. This is because different programs under this health care option have different regulations: including those that bar switching of Medicare plans.

The Medicare program is able to pay at least half of your health costs. For people above the age of 65, there are some pertinent questions you need to answer as you enroll for this program.

They include:

  • Will you have to pay back to the government for the benefits you receive?
  • What about specific drugs and procedures not covered under Medicare?
  • Can you opt out and enroll in another program? 

    These are some of the pertinent issues that you need to ask yourself before taking any Medicare option.

The four parts of Medicare are as follows:

Medicare part A

Part A of Medicare covers the following sections:

Home health care
Nursing home health care
Inpatient medicare care

Medicare Part B

This is the second level of coverage under Medicare. Once you are signed up for this section, you can enjoy the following services:

Doctor and consultation services
Emergency Ambulance services
Mental check and care
Laboratory tests and x-ray services
Use of high-quality medical equipment

Medicare Part C

After taking the part A and B, you can be enrolled for Medicare part C. It covers the following services:

Provision of Medicare Advantage Plans
Private health Insurance

Medicare Part D

This is the final part you can take under Medicare. It mainly covers prescription of drugs as the major benefit. As a senior, you can use this part to claim or pay for your drug prescriptions.

Medicaid

Medicaid is a valuable option for seniors since it is geared towards availing funds for the financially unstable individuals, as well as the seniors. As long as you are above 65 years and are receiving Medicare, Medicaid will equally come your way with valuable financial boosts. For seniors, Medicaid will cover any payments and premiums usually charged under Medicare.

Medicaid, however, has some specific qualifications that you should attain to be enrolled. First, you should have less than $2000 in countable assets value. If you are to receive Medicaid as a couple, you should not have countable assets exceeding $101,500.

Private Insurance

There is a large probability that Medicare and any Medicare Advantage Plan may not have an insurance policy. This leaves you at the risk of losing support for any health issues not covered under the program. A private insurance will in this case come in handy to boost your risks.

Private insurers are more likely to offer you better cushioning against any emergencies and health finances. After you have a long term disability, these companies will examine your coverage issues and provide a suitable plan to keep your health finances in check.

Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly

This is a nationwide program that targets elderly people who display an ardent need for home-based care. It provides medical and social services to seniors living in a community where (PACE) is located. High-quality health care is provided in the community as opposed to staying in a nursing home.

Other services you can get from PACE include:

Dental care
X-ray services and other laboratory tests
Drug prescription
Emergency response and ambulance services
Occupational therapy
Nursing home care

Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program

This is more of an information-based program. It aims at providing senior citizens (above 65) with details on medical bills, medical plans, and health insurance. As a senior, you may find it difficult to make rational decisions, and as such, the Health Assistance program will bail you out.

To receive any assistance, you need to show qualifications as follows:

Having attained Medicare assistance up to part D. This is because it is the level that provides money for drug prescription
Relevant information on disabled Medicare beneficiaries
Health Insurance Assistance
Medicare bill assistance

Eye Care Assistance Programs

A significant number of seniors have lost sight as they age. Some have lost it partially while others lose it entirely. It is, therefore, important that you get the appropriate health Insurance that covers the health and finances that are required to treat you. By the age of 65, it is estimated that around 1 in every three American citizens has some eye deformations. These can range from cataracts, and glaucoma among other complications. Eye care programs spread across the United States can help you overcome this situation or at least ensure your quality of life is enhanced.