Senior Citizen Insurance
We created this dedicated section to help inform you as seniors or soon to be seniors of your health insurance options. As you reach your later life, health issues gain an increased significance, and can be increasingly abundant too. It is important that you have a good, high quality insurance plan before encountering any significant old-age health problems, so that you can be covered for the costs of treatment. If you wait until you are ill before seeking out insurance, then you will either have to pay a higher premium to get coverage, or simply won’t be able to get insurance coverage, and may have to pay for the treatments yourself. The more pre-existing conditions you accrue, the more expensive your insurance will be, so make sure to get an insurance plan as early as possible.
To help you sift through the numerous insurers and policies out there, we have highlighted the important elements of an insurance plan that you must consider when searching for a policy. If you have any questions about the information below, would like a quote, or want to discuss your insurance options with one of our seasoned experts, then contact us here. Our years of experience garnering relationships with the world’s top insurers give us great insight into the insurance industry, leaving us primed to help you achieve the best policy possible.
When looking for a new insurance policy, you must assess whether your insurer will cover pre-existing conditions, and to what extent. As you get older, you are more likely to have pre-existing conditions that will need treatment, so ensuring that treatment for these conditions or any consequences thereof will be covered is essential. Coverage for pre-existing conditions does come with a higher premium, but as you are more likely to need treatment for these conditions later in life, paying a higher premium for coverage is preferable to having to pay for these treatments out of your own pocket. Some insurers will not grant you coverage for pre-existing conditions at all, or at incredibly inflated prices, and the longer you wait to get coverage, the more difficult it will be to do so and you run the risk of incurring more pre-existing conditions. We recommend finding a plan that will cover all of your existing conditions as soon as possible, guaranteeing you maximum security later on.
Also known as ‘Lifestyle Illnesses’, chronic conditions are permanent ailments that are normally acquired later in life. They are called lifestyle illnesses as they are often a result of your diet, exercise level, and other lifestyle factors, although some hereditary conditions may also be considered chronic conditions, such as Diabetes and Hypertension. An insurer will often not cover chronic conditions. Because chronic conditions are permanent conditions, that require treatment throughout your life, an insurer knows they will have to pay considerable costs for regular, possibly expensive treatments. If you suffer from any chronic conditions, make sure you check how your insurer will treat them; what level of coverage, if any, you will be given, and how the coverage will affect your premium, as well as what limits, restrictions or caps will be placed on coverage for chronic conditions. As is true with many elements of an insurance policy, the cheaper plans will have less extensive, lower quality coverage of your conditions, or will place stricter limits on the extent of coverage. If you know you will need good coverage for chronic conditions, then a more expensive but higher quality plan may be better for you. If you have any further questions about chronic conditions, or want to know which insurers and plans will best suit your personal requirements, then contact one of our advisors and we’ll be glad to help you.
Age Limit For Coverage
Several insurance policies have age restrictions on them that prevent you from receiving coverage, or give the insurer the right to cancel or renegotiate your insurance plan once you reach a certain age. These restrictions can typically be implemented on clients aged between 60 and 65 years old depending on your insurer. Having an insurance plan that contains age limits is problematic, as it is usually in your later years, when an insurer can cancel your plan, that you will need coverage the most. We therefore recommend that you forgo any plans that have age limits on them. While these types of plans will have cheaper premiums for the time you use them for, being uninsured once you reach 60 is not advisable and can lead to having to pay huge personal costs for treatment, or huge premiums when you try to negotiate a new insurance plan with all the pre-existing conditions that can come with being 60 years old.
One significant aspect of your plan to consider is where you want to be treated, or where you will be living. If you believe that you will move to a new country, then you need to have an insurance plan that will provide you with coverage in that country. This is something that you must consider before purchasing a plan, as some insurers or policies will restrict where you can receive treatment or get coverage. If you decide to move after signing a policy that is not flexible, then you may have your policy cancelled or may incur large fees to receive treatment abroad.
Flexible coverage is available, that will allow you to be treated in several areas, so be aware of this when finding a policy. Making sure you have coverage in the country you plan on living in is particularly important if you are planning on moving to the USA (either as an expat or to return home). America has a different and independent healthcare system, that often requires unique coverage specifically for the USA (see our USA Cover page). Some insurers may allow you to transfer your policy to the USA, or another destination of choice, but will cost you in the form of higher premiums. When choosing an insurer and insurance policy, make sure to consider the area you want to receive coverage in, and whether you need a flexible plan that incorporates coverage in multiple countries. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact one of our advisors.
Claims Rated Policies vs. Community Rated Policies
When your policy finishes, your insurer has the option to renew your policy or cancel it. If they choose to renew your policy, they may also do so at a different premium rate than you were previously paying. To assess whether to renew your policy or not, the most significant factor for an insurer to consider is your claims history. If you have made several claims on your policy, or have ongoing or expensive claims, then your insurer is unlikely to want to renew your policy, or if they do, they will charge you a higher premium. This type of policy is known as a ‘claims rated’ or ‘experience rated’ policy. We do not recommend these plans for seniors. They offer little to no protection for you later in life when you will need coverage the most. If your insurance policy needs renewing when you have reached senior citizen status, you are much more likely to encounter resistance or high premiums from an insurer, as they will know the likelihood of you making claims on your policy will be higher in your older age.
Instead of these claims based policies, we suggest taking out a ‘community rated’ policy. This type of policy is guaranteed to be renewed regardless of your current health status or your claims history. A community rated policy charges the same premium rate to all policyholders who fall into the same bracket based on age, location, and the extent of coverage/benefits on your plan. This means that your personal claims history has no bearing on your policy’s renewability. While these types of plans can be up to 50% more expensive than claims rated policies, we believe they are worth the added price as they give you guaranteed protection for the rest of your life.
Annual Premium Rate Increase
Medical insurance costs, compared with other global products and services, increase annually at a much more severe rate of inflation. Typically, medical treatment costs increase 10% per year. The inflated costs must be paid for by your insurer, who transfers this increased cost onto you through an increase in your premium rate. The inflation rate of medical insurance policies is unlikely to change soon either, as medical technology continues to advance (at expensive costs). As a senior or if you are approaching senior citizen status, it is important to put aside savings for a long term insurance policy that can incorporate the 10% annual increases. When selecting an insurer, make sure to see what the premium rates are for clients who are 50 and older. This will show the willingness and ability of the insurer to care for and cover seniors. If an insurer’s premium rates rise too quickly, then find another insurer that will look after you long term at a steady premium.
As leading insurance industry intermediaries, we know that there are insurers out there that will cover you for life. If you want any help in finding an insurer and plan that won’t increase costs significantly or that will cover you long term, then talk to us.
Changing Your Policy
If there are elements of your insurance plan that you need to change, such as the extent of your coverage, or your premium rate, then there are insurers that can accommodate you. As you get older, it may be the case that you don’t need dental coverage, repatriation coverage, or emergency evacuation cover. With a modular or flexible benefits plan, you can select to have cover only for the benefits you need. There are also plans that allow you to select the level of deductible/copayment/excess that you want. These elements of a plan allow you to bring down your premium costs by offering to pay for part of treatment costs yourself. This may be enticing to you as a senior if you are on a stricter budget and don’t want your monthly premium costs draining your pension. A further option is using your state’s healthcare system for minor ailments, and keeping a health insurance policy reserved for major illnesses, injuries or accidents - using a flexible plan to further help you keep costs down. Selecting a plan that allows you flexibility of benefits, treatments, and payment, is definitely beneficial. The earlier you can attain a plan with these elements, the better off you will be later on when you have more benefit needs or monetary requirements.
A Trustworthy Insurer
You and your insurer are hopefully going to enter into a long term partnership. It is therefore vitally important that you pick the right insurer. This means considering things such as what do you want from an insurer compared with what your insurer offers? What is your insurers reputation? Do they have a solid history? Satisfied customers? What are their core values regarding clients, and do these match your goals and values? Make sure to find reviews of your desired insurer to see what current customers feel about them. Choosing a trusted insurer doesn’t necessarily mean choosing a large organization with a global reputation. It may be that your specific needs and location suit choosing a smaller insurer that will be more personally dedicated to clients.
As you get older, we know you will have specific insurance needs that require the right partner to provide you with the benefits and treatment that you want long term, so you can avoid having to choose another insurer and another plan at 60+. Once you are sure what type of insurance plan you want and what benefits you want, contact us. As leading insurance intermediaries, we have extensive experience in helping people to find the right insurance policy. We have built strong relationships with over 60 global medical insurers, and can use our industry knowledge to offer you the best plan possible at the best price. For a free quote today, click here.