7 Dec, 2013 @ 06:30
2 mins read

What to consider when purchasing senior healthcare

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WHETHER you have a national healthcare programme in place or you are covered through a programme you earned during your working career, every senior needs to pay close attention to their healthcare package.

You may want to change to another programme or you may want to augment your coverage with a private plan tailored to your specific needs.

The world of healthcare is changing very quickly and costs are soaring. In addition, many find themselves locked out of the exact coverage they need due to chronic conditions. Here are four very important considerations for all seniors when evaluating your healthcare needs.

1. What are your exact needs in terms of a healthcare package?
Maybe you have had or need to have surgeries in the near future. Or perhaps you are diabetic and need a plan that pays attention to your medications, diet, need for insulin and all the extra precautionary measures needed to keep you healthy. Maybe you want a membership to a health club as part of your medical package. Do you want to include vision and dental care to your plan? Are you overweight or are you a cancer survivor? Any health condition you had in the past or currently suffer helps you plan out your specific needs in healthcare. Take some time to make a detailed analysis of your current health conditions before making a decision.

2. Will your current doctors accept a change you make to your coverage?
Doctors are under pressure to work longer and earn less. They may opt to work in a private hospital where they can pick and choose the cases they’ll take. Be sure that if you make changes to your healthcare plan, your doctors will still accept you or that you are happy to find a new physician. Just remember that a doctor who knows you personally and has treated you over time may better meet your health needs.

3. Can you really afford it?
If you are fortunate enough to have your healthcare covered by a national plan then this is less of a concern. But if you have a private plan, perhaps a secondary policy, you’ll need to ask some hard questions. Finding the balance between your monthly premiums and the amount of risk you take in deductibles is always tricky. Again, your health history and current health status will help you decide what works best for you. Buying a product you can’t really afford makes no sense, but neither does lowering your health care premiums to the point that you have a huge deductible to pay later in a time of crisis.

4. What additional insurance or private plans do you want to add to your basic coverage?
There are numerous ways to maintain optimal health by purchasing private plans which include the options you want and need. You may need physical therapy, chiropractic work, acupuncture or a personal trainer. You may decide to work with a professional on weight control or to stop smoking. Only you can decide which healthcare plans work for you.

As we grow older we need to pay special attention to our healthcare coverage. In our busy working days, most of us had good healthcare plans through our jobs. But retirees often have to make do with less coverage for a higher premium.

And if we’re on a national plan, we may have to wait for necessary procedures. Take the time to search through your current healthcare coverage and find any areas of weakness or need that shoud be filled. Most insurance companies will let you speak with a representative to help you determine the best plan for you.

Claire Wilson

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  1. Is there a health care insurance as in England where you can pay towards your surgery. I am finding Spain is just as bad as England and know that I will need surgery in the very near future. I also know that I am going through a pathway for the health system and would rather pay to go and see a consultant and an operation. Any ideas?

  2. Bupa and Aviva have interesting options re healthcare in Spain.
    If not read the feature in the Telegraph about health insurance etc in Spain.
    Good luck!
    Ask Granny


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