The best health insurance option for the majority of seniors and retirees will be a Medicare plan. We advise either a Humana Medicare Advantage plan or an AARP/UnitedHealthcare Medicare Supplement Plan G.
It’s cost-free, easy, and safe.
Depending on your age and income, there might be another excellent option. You might be eligible for Medicaid, which is free or inexpensive if you have a low income. Additionally, we advise a Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) plan from the health insurance marketplace if you are under 65 and are not eligible for Medicare.
- 1 Best overall: Medicare
- 2 The following are the two basic methods to sign up for Medicare coverage:
- 3 Best if you have a low income: Medicaid
- 4 Best Medicare Advantage: Humana
- 5 Best Medicare Supplement: AARP/UnitedHealthcare
- 6 Best prescription drug plan: Aetna
- 7 Best if you’re under 65: Blue Cross Blue Shield
- 8 Best short-term coverage: UnitedHealthcare
Best overall: Medicare
The Medicare programme will be the least expensive health insurance with the best advantages for people who are 65 years of age or older, or who have a qualifying disability. When you were employed, you contributed to the Medicare programme by paying an income tax on Medicare. The best time to profit from this investment is when you are in your senior years.
Medicare is divided into several components, including a public option offered through the Medicare agency and options provided by private insurance firms. With so many options, you may choose the one that best suits your needs.
The following are the two basic methods to sign up for Medicare coverage:
An individual purchases Medicare Advantage, commonly known as Medicare Part C, from a commercial insurance provider. Plans offer bundled medical and hospital care coverage, and they frequently also cover prescription drug costs, dental work, and vision care.
In terms of structure, Medicare Advantage plans resemble conventional health insurance plans. For instance, there are copayments, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums that you must pay for each medical service. Additionally, since plans are offered by private insurance companies, you’ll have access to a network of medical professionals who are associated with the plan.
You may mix different Medicare Part A and Part B (hospital insurance) policies (medical insurance). These two government-run plans have the option of being supplemented with additional insurance from private health insurance providers based on your specific requirements.
A Medicare Supplement plan, also known as Medigap, can be added on, lowering your share of the bill from 20% to almost nothing. A Medicare Part D plan, which is the only way to receive prescription benefits under Original Medicare, is another addition.
Best if you have a low income: Medicaid
For those who qualify, the Medicaid public health insurance programme offers free or low-cost coverage. You may be eligible for dual enrollment in Medicaid and Medicare, which will lower your costs, even if you are over 65 or enrolled in Medicare.
Medicaid eligibility requirements differ from state to state. If you make up to 138% of the federal poverty level, which for 2022 amounts to less than $18,754 for an individual or $25,268 for a couple, you may be eligible for Medicaid in 39 states and Washington, D.C. In 11 states, Medicaid eligibility requires a lower income and can differ by state or circumstance. The limits are higher in Alaska and Hawaii.
If they have high medical costs, seniors over 65 with incomes that are too high to qualify for Medicaid may still be able to do so. You can deduct your medical expenses from your income under the Medicaid “spenddown” program, and this lower amount can be used to determine your eligibility for Medicaid.’
Best Medicare Advantage: Humana
Humana stands out for offering the perfect balance of widely accessible, cost-effective plans with solid coverage that have average ratings. It is our top choice for the best Medicare Advantage plan provider due to its overall strong performance.
There may be more than 20 bundled Medicare Advantage plans available in your area, which are managed by private insurance companies. The majority of people will be able to choose from Medicare Advantage plans with monthly premiums as low as $0 and as high as $28.
Best Medicare Supplement: AARP/UnitedHealthcare
Your Original Medicare benefits are supplemented by secondary coverage through Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans. You will typically pay less for medical care with a Medigap plan than with a Medicare Advantage plan, despite the fact that they cost more on average than Medicare Advantage plans. This is particularly helpful for seniors who worry about rising medical costs as they get older.
Because coverage is standardised by plan letter, Medigap plans are distinct from other types of insurance plans. The benefits of Plan G from one company and Plan G from another company will therefore be equivalent.
As a result, we advise that you select the plan letter that offers the benefits you desire first, followed by the provider with the best price, ratings, and added benefits. AARP/UnitedHealthcare is the best provider for the majority of people.
Best prescription drug plan: Aetna
The best Medicare Part D provider is Aetna/SilverScript because you can get high-quality benefits for low costs—starting at just $6 per month.
Prescription drug coverage is only available to those who choose Original Medicare by enrolling in a separate Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. For retirees and seniors, this is a crucial aspect of coverage because, as you get older, you may use more prescription drugs and they can be very expensive.
Prescription drug coverage is a benefit of most Medicare Advantage plans, so most people don’t need a Part D plan. The ability to add on Part D is available in a few less frequent situations, such as when your Medicare Advantage plan is a Medical Savings Account or a Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plan.
Best if you’re under 65: Blue Cross Blue Shield
Sky Cross The best overall health insurance plans are offered by Blue Shield. They are highly regarded plans that are widely offered on HealthCare.gov or in your state’s marketplace.
If you’re under 65, don’t yet qualify for Medicare, and make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, your best option is a traditional health insurance plan. HealthCare.gov, also known as the health insurance marketplace, is where you can find the best prices on these plans.
As you get older, the cost of health insurance can increase significantly; on average, a Silver insurance plan for people over 60 costs more than $1,000 per month. For those with low to moderate incomes, the health insurance market has a programme that offers premium tax credits, which offer reduced rates.
A Silver health insurance plan, for instance, would cost about $387 per month for a person making $54,360 per year, or 400% of the federal poverty level. These earnings may come from withdrawals from retirement accounts, self-employment, unemployment compensation, or other sources of income.
Best short-term coverage: UnitedHealthcare
The short-term plans offered by UnitedHealthcare provide some of the most comprehensive coverage for this kind of insurance.
A short-term policy is an easy method to acquire benefits if you have a gap in your insurance coverage, such as after retirement and before Medicare. A short-term plan often has relatively minimal costs. Plans, however, are not subject to the same regulations as standard insurance. It’s important to keep in mind that some benefits will be restricted, and you might not be eligible for a plan if you’re too old or have a preexisting condition.
When choosing a short-term coverage over other forms of health insurance, seniors should exercise prudence. However, if you need some coverage for a few months prior to the start of your Medicare plan or conventional health insurance policy, they’re a practical answer.