While your retirement plan might make it possible for you to leave the workforce before you are 65, the ever-increasing cost of medical coverage can make such a move prohibitive without options like AARP Essential Health Insurance. While employer-sponsored plans for retirees become obsolete, and the age for Medicare eligibility continues to rise, AARP strives to make health insurance a viable option to protect its members age fifty to sixty-four and three quarters. The plan is also helpful for self-employed individuals who would otherwise have to take out private policies with hefty premiums to get the coverage they need. The AARP is focused on ensuring that members stay well, without bearing an excessive financial strain.
Benefits of the AARP Essential Health Insurance Plan
The most helpful thing about the AARP sponsored plan is the range of choices available to you based on your need for coverage and the premium you can afford to pay. If you prefer a plan with low premiums that will prevent high bills in case of an accident, injury, or hospitalization, the Affordable Preventive and Hospital Care plan is available. While it doesn’t cover every aspect of your regular medical care, it protects you in case there are large unexpected expenses. This plan is particularly useful if you participate in a Health Savings Account (HSA), which coordinates to ensure you have cash available to pay for the uncovered portion of your bills.
The network of physicians and specialists that participate in the AARP Essential Health Insurance plan is extensive, so you can count on seeing a doctor you trust no matter where you are located. This plan is insured by major carrier Aetna, which means your care is in experienced, reliable hands. Enjoy extra benefits like coverage for eye exams and prescription medications, which make up a high portion of the out-of-pocket costs most individuals pay. You can rest easy, even if you have a chronic medical condition, knowing you won’t be responsible for the full price of needed drugs.
Who is Eligible?
The creators of AARP Essential Health Insurance understand that you have responsibilities, not only to care for your own health conditions, but also to care for your family. That is why you can purchase this health insurance plan for your spouse, as long as he or she is under sixty-four and three quarters, as well as for dependents under the age of twenty-seven. Other criteria include residency in a state where the plans are licensed, at least six months of United States residency, and membership in the AARP.
Drawbacks to AARP Essential Health Insurance
While many applicants are eligible for the lowest or premium rates, those suffering from some conditions or with certain medical histories may be charged more each month. In addition, there are circumstances in which applicants might be declined for coverage altogether. This is determined during the medical underwriting process that takes place upon application.
Pre-existing medical conditions are not covered by these plans in the first twelve months for all clients nineteen years old or older. If this situation applies to you, you may be able to waive the twelve-month period. Those that had prior coverage can present a certificate of creditable coverage from the previous plan, which will be accepted as long as the plan was in effect within the previous sixty-three days.
Duplicate coverage is not permitted under the AARP Essential Health Insurance program, and all other policies must be cancelled once your AARP application is approved. Finally, while premium payments are guaranteed to stay the same for at least your first six months, after the preliminary period monthly premiums can increase significantly.
Extra Benefits Offered at No Additional Charge
Because this program is insured by Aetna, clients get the extra services offered to Aetna customers free of cost. For example, the Aetna Navigator site offers 24-hour access to all of your health insurance information, including the history and status of your claims. Also, Aetna gives you the convenience of having your prescription medications delivered right to your home through the mail, saving you a trip to the pharmacy. Those individuals looking to drop a few pounds can join Jenny Craig free for thirty days. A 24-hour help line has registered nurses standing by to answer any questions you have on your health conditions at any hour of the day or night.
Aetna and the AARP know that there are many paths to better health, and sometimes, alternative medicine complements traditional treatments. Therefore, as an extra benefit to the AARP Essential Health Insurance, you can look forward to discounts on massage therapy, acupuncture, diet counseling, and chiropractic care. Some vitamins and dietary supplements are eligible for reduced pricing as well.
Protecting your health and securing your financial future are key elements to enjoying your retirement. Don’t go without the care you need because you lack health insurance. With programs like this one, you can rely on affordable options for all of your healthcare needs.