Closing the Gap

Four ways to get health insurance while you wait for Medicare

Shop for individual or family coverage. As many baby boomers pass age 50 and opt for early retirement, more insurers are meeting the increased demand by offering medical coverage to the pre-Medicare set. Websites such as make it easier for you to see what’s available and find the best deal.

For example, a 55-year-old man in Atlanta can choose among 12 plans, with quotes from six different companies. Rates range from $175 a month, for a plan with a steep $10,000 deductible, to $527 a month, for a plan that pays benefits after you’ve spent $1,500 and caps your expenses at $3,000 per year.

“There’s a vibrant health insurance market for individual and family coverage, with a great deal of competition,” says Sam Gibbs, senior vice president of sales at eHealth Inc., in Mountain View, California. “By using the Internet, you can decide which benefit level you want and save money by choosing a plan tailored to your needs.”

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  • Saidina

    The simple anwser is Freedom of Choice. First of all you must understand that there is a great deal of fraud involved with Government run Medicare. Scam artists regularly milk Medicare out of BILLIONS of dollars. Private insurance companies are out to make a profit and therefore investigate the claims much better.It should also be noted that Medicare has approx $1100 deductible each year for hospital coverage and $162 per year for Outpatient deductible. After that the member is responsible for 20% co-insurance. Add to that the fact that there is no routine dental coverage, no routine vision coverage and no prescription drug coverage.Private plans are requires by law to follow federal guidelines that either meet or exceed original Medicare coverage. Most of them far exceed these guidelines. Many plans offer dental, vision part d coverage and even health and wellness, transportation and/or fitness classes (health club memberships)The private insurance companies receive a set monthly per member fee as determined by our federal government and not a percentage. If this amount is less than the cost of care for a certain individual the insurance company is liable to pay with no additional reimbursement.Insurance is actually defined as pure-risk but closely monitored by underwriters. They have an idea of what health care costs but there are so many variables that there is no clear cut number that can actually be obtained. It is all based upon estimates.Private insurance competes for more business and thus offers additional benefits and lower co-payments in order to entice more people to join their plan. We can all keep blaming the big bad insurance companies or give the reigns over to the government who will dictate what we deserve and what they feel we need. What a novel idea. Our government thinks they are more intelligent than we are and has decided that we are too stupid to decide what is best for ourselves.With all of that being said. Everyone still has a choice to have original Medicare or choose a private plan. Medicare advantage is growing at an incredible pace and there are over 11 million seniors and growing who have made this choice. I will side with Seniors on this one. They know what works because they use these programs every day. Not everyone will ever have the same opinion but the overwhelming majority of seniors will tell you quit screwing with my Medicare They like what they have