by James Tuck

Senior Health Insurance: Medicare, Medicare Advantage and More

The primary source for senior health insurance coverage is typically Medicare. Administered by the federal government, Medicare offers basic health insurance for seniors at little or no cost; this program is funded in part by payroll deductions and is intended to guarantee that senior citizen health insurance is available even for those older individuals with serious medical conditions that require monitoring and attention on a regular basis. Medicare alone may not be enough to provide adequate coverage; many retired individuals choose to add a supplementary senior health insurance plan to cover expenses not paid by Medicare.

Supplementary Plans

The Medicare senior health insurance plan offers solid basic protection against major medical expenses; however, a number of supplementary plans are available to senior citizens that cover expenses and deductible amounts not paid by Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans are provided by private insurance companies and typically offer more comprehensive benefits and place a greater emphasis on preventative care rather than simply providing coverage for treatment. Medicare Advantage senior health insurance plans typically include extras like vision and dental coverage that can make them very attractive to those seeking a wider array of services while maintaining affordable senior health insurance coverage.

Prescription Drug Plans

Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans and private insurance companies include prescription drug benefits that can significantly reduce medical costs for many seniors; health insurance plans that provide little or no coverage for prescription medications can often be supplemented with one of these plans. When selecting a comprehensive senior health insurance plan, the overall state of health, the number and type of prescriptions required by the senior and the availability of providers in the immediate area should be considered prior to making a final decision. While prescription drug benefits should not be the deciding factor, they can constitute a significant expense that can be mitigated by choosing the right health insurance plan.

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