Is It Possible to Buy Private Health Insurance at & After Age 65?

Discussion in 'Health Insurance and Ancillary Benefits' started by pipedream, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. pipedream
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    pipedream Well-Known Member

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    My husband & I are self-employed. We each have an individual private BC/BS HSA insurance policy. He is 64 years and 3 months and nearing the age for medicare.

    We've been having a discussion about medicare. I believe that it is not possible for him to by-pass medicare and pay for (or continue) an individual private health insurance policy. I've never seen a private company offer this. Only medsupps.

    He says there should be no reason why he can't continue his policy if he wants to. (We haven't asked BC/BS about this.)

    Are there any companies that insure age 65 & older that are not part of the medicare system or Medicare advantage plan?

    He fears that if he is on medicare that under the new health care laws, he'll have trouble finding doctors who will take it. And because medsupps don't pay the difference between the total charge and what medicare pays, only the difference between what medicare approves and what medicare pays, he'll be limited in choice of doctors and care.

    The only other option that occurs to me is to pay privately, out-of-pocket for medical care and providers. But then I've heard that can be problematical also.

    I've googled the question but the results are all about medicare and medicare supplemental insurance.

    Thanks in advance for any information/explanations you can provide.
     
  2. arnguy
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    arnguy Well-Known Member

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    Re: Is It Possible to Buy Private Health Insurance at & After Age

    I have not heard of any insurance company that will write a health policy on anyone 65 or older, that includes BC/BS. There may be some mini-meds, but they are not worth the time of day.
     
  3. Frank Stastny
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    Frank Stastny Well-Known Member

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    Re: Is It Possible to Buy Private Health Insurance at & After Age

    I don't believe you will find a company.

    He is a little confused about the benefits paid by Medicare and Medicare Supplement Plans. You will find that with Medicare and a Medicare Supplement Plan, depending on the plan he selects, he will not incur any additional costs when going to a doctor or hospital.

    There may be the occasional doctor that does not accept patients on Medicare but they are few and far between. The new health care laws do not effect Medicare, Medicare Supplement Plans nor doctors who accept Medicare. Med Supps are not in the definition of that piece of legislation.

    I think once you have a better understanding of how all of that works he will be very pleased with the coverage he can get over what he has now.

    He will have greater flexibility in seeking health care, there are no restrictions regarding doctors or hospitals. His cost will most likely be substantially less than what he is currently paying. No copays or out of pocket deductibles.

    It will be a lot easier to answer all of the questions you and your husband have if you will give me a call.

    I promise not to try to sell you something, only to help you make a well-informed decision.
     
  4. somarco
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    somarco Well-Known Member

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    Re: Is It Possible to Buy Private Health Insurance at & After Age

    The federal govt took over this market in 1965. In doing so, there was no reason for carriers to continue offering major med to the over 65 crowd and the Med supp business was born.

    You can still buy group health insurance after age 65 but unless you have a large company, the plan will pay secondary to Medicare regardless of whether you have Medicare A & B or not.

    In most areas the number of docs that accept Medicare assignment is quite high, usually close to 100%.

    Just because they accept assignment does not mean they take on new patients, so you may have to make a change in your current PCP and/or have a challenge finding someone who will take new patients.

    Washington is looking for ways to save Medicare (which has been losing money almost since the inception and this year will pay out more in benefits than it takes in in taxes). Limiting how much they pay for services rendered, only paying for evidence based treatment, cost-benefit analysis on treatment protocol will most likely be a factor in the future of Medicare.

    With 80 million baby boomer's hitting age 65 in the next 10 years pressure on Medicare will worsen. There are currently 40 million on Medicare, and a number of them will age off the plan before this wave of boomer's hit, but you can see this is a problem that won't go away.

    Obamacare does nothing to affect the cost of health care but it does impose at least a trillion dollars in new taxes over the next few years. They won't be able to generate enough tax dollars to pay for all these new and expanded entitlement programs so the flip side is to limit benefits and provider reimbursement.

    You can pay cash but in doing so you most likely will pay more than the Medicare allowed charge. You may also seek out concierge practices that do not accept any insurance or Medicare/Medicaid. In exchange for a fee you are entitled to "unlimited" primary care including some lab work (if done in house).

    Most of the concierge practices I have seen charge an annual fee in the range of $1500 - $2000 but some have agreed to accept monthly fees.

    You should still sign up for Medicare A&B or part C (Advantage). If you opt for Medicare (vs. an Advantage plan) you would be wise to purchase a Med supp as well.

    In some areas a Medicare HMO might be a viable option. In Atlanta Kaiser has a good presence and is expanding the number of offices and providers. The good thing about this type of HMO is "guaranteed access" to docs.
     
  5. pipedream
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    pipedream Well-Known Member

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    Re: Is It Possible to Buy Private Health Insurance at & After Age

    Thank you all for the information. I appreciate your thoughtful replies.
     
  6. mamagoose
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    mamagoose New Member

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    I have been doing a great deal of research into all this stuff with private ins and medicare, primarily because I am looking for answers to many questions being raised by the opposers of the PPACA (obamacare) and the proponents of what may be with Romney Ryan. Pretty much everything the other poster have stated are "very informed" thinking and information. To only further to their info, very inportantly to know is that if the PPACA would be repealed and any close facsimile of Ryan's proposed changes would be made law, just one item alone, raising the entrance level to 67 (and this would increasingly go up over the coming years to 69.5) what would happen to anyone 55 and younger, and that would include me age 52, is that when I would reach the age of 65 when private plans stop covering us, I will have a gap of 2 years without med ins being available to me. As to date, there is nothing in Ryan's plan to adjust the ending age of private ins. I realize this will not affect you or your husband, but it you have children my age or younger it will be so destructive to them. Food for thought.
     
  7. Chazm
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    Chazm Well-Known Member

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    Two year old post you're replying to but in your situation you are saying if the entrance age is raised to 67 you will be without coverage for 2 years. That'll never happen. If there is a possible gap in coverage, an insurance company will make sure they are there to offer to cover it for you.
     
  8. somarco
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    somarco Well-Known Member

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    Raising Medicare eligibility to age 67 (similar to what they did for SS) won't happen for many more years. When (if) it does, you won't believe the age 66 - 57 rates, especially if Obamacare is still around then.
     
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