One of life’s steppingstones is that people over the age of 55 are more likely to be alone or single because his or her partner died. It sounds a little grim, but it is all part of life, and the fact is that at this time, you are going to have to find suitable health insurance for just yourself. Typically, more women are faced with this problem since men do not tend to live as long as women. Here are a few tips on finding health insurance as a single person over 55 years old.
1. Comparison Sites Are Good for Research
Do not be the sort of person who goes onto a comparison site, picks the cheapest, and then goes for that. You need to use several comparison websites when you are searching for seniors health insurance. This is because no single comparison website holds insurance quotes for every insurance company. Plus, many of the comparison websites work in different ways, which spawns different results, so it works in your favor to play around with these comparison sites until you have a shortlist of good quotes.
2. Beware of Comparison Website Tricks
Comparison websites have no incentive to be impartial. They may say that they are, but they have insurers who pay far higher affiliate fees than others. It is in the comparison website’s interest to have you buy one set of insurance over another.
They will do this by inflating the price of the competition, aka the insurers that pay the least affiliate fees. Another method is to offer up the preferred insurer first, and then exclude other insurers that are cheaper. These tricks, among others, are yet another reason why you should shop around when you are using comparison websites, and especially take note of the same insurers offering very different quotes on different comparison websites.
3. Beware of Health Insurance Comparison Tricks
The health insurance providers will also pull a hefty set of tricks. A common one is to put their very basic insurance at a very low price so that they always appear to be the cheapest on the comparison website. Then, when you get to their website, you discover that cheap insurance is worthless and you actually need to buy one of their expensive plans to get the cover you want.
Another trick is to run you through the whole application process, and then pile on the fees at the end. Some of the fees they charge are downright insulting, such as adding on tens of dollars for administrative fees or adding on taxes without fully explaining them before you started your application.
4. Do Not Be Fooled by Grey-Area Claims by Insurers
Health insurance carriers are going to remind you of all the things that may go wrong with your health between the age of 50 and 64. If you have not had health problems in the past, and you are pretty healthy now, then ignore the scare tactics. They sometimes try to sucker you in with a low basic price, and then offer you a selection of expensive add-ons by scaring you into thinking you will need them for ailments you “may” develop between the age of 50 and 64. Again, just because they quote statistics about one ailment or another doesn’t mean you will develop it, or even that you are at risk of developing it.
5. Do Not Be Bullied
There are places around the world where insurers are allowed to charge far higher premiums for people who are over 55yrs old, and especially more for people who have pre-existing conditions. They may make you believe that the only way you can get health insurance is if you pay a very high premium, or if you have a very high deductible. This is rarely true. In most countries, there are schemes, government or otherwise that mean you are not forced to pay over the top prices. For example, in the USA, there is the Affordable Care Act, which includes access to insurers that accept all applicants.
6. Beware the Out of Pocket Expenses
In other words, make sure you do your research before you buy your insurance. Many people pay thinking that their medical transport is covered when it is not, and the fact is that hidden fees and hidden out-of-pocket expenses are now so common that they are almost viewed as a given. In fact, out of pocket expenses now cost an average of one fifth of your healthcare costs over your lifetime, so it is in your interest to do your research and reduce them as much as possible.