How to Beat the Healthcare Odds in These Uncertain Times

The following is a guest post from Chris Orestis, Executive Vice President of GWG Life, is an over 20-year veteran of the insurance and long-term care industries and is nationally recognized as a healthcare expert and senior care advocate. 

Concerns about healthcare are on the rise in the United States.

Dissatisfied with Healthcare and Government

A recent Gallup poll revealed that Americans list healthcare as tied for the nation’s No. 1 problem, right along with dissatisfaction with government. Each of those was named by 18 percent of the people polled, far outdistancing any other worry.

Maybe it’s no coincidence that those two issues cause equal amounts of anxiety among Americans.

There’s a lot of debate in Washington about what role government should play in healthcare, and I think a lot of people are worried that lawmakers aren’t coming up with good answers.

Henk Vrieselaar

That Gallup poll is an indication that people around the country have come to realize how important healthcare coverage is for them, and how easy it is to lose it.

With so much uncertainty about what would replace Obamacare if the move to repeal it continues, it may fall to each individual to take measures to make sure the odds are in their favor.

The key to doing that is to understand how to get the most out of what you already have. Some factors to consider include:

  • Weigh employer-provided options. Most Americans get health insurance at work, and usually there are coverage options to choose from. Employees need to consider how much medical care they think they and their families will need in the coming year. If you don’t expect to need a lot of healthcare, select a plan that has lower premiums, but higher deductibles and co-pays. If you know you’ll need lots of care and prescriptions, choose the plan with higher premiums, but lower deductibles and co-pays.
  • Make sure you understand Medicare. Medicare offers numerous choices that allow people to put together the best combination of benefits for their needs and budgets. But beware. Enrolling in Medicare can be complicated. If you’re not careful, you can miss out on coverage you need or pay more in premiums, co-pays and deductibles than you realize or can afford.
  • Plan for long-term care. Many people eventually require some type of long-term care, such as a nursing home or assisted-living facility, and the cost is hefty. It can be difficult to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid to pay for long-term care, and if you do qualify there are restrictions. Long-term care providers prefer some sort of private pay, such as personal savings, long-term care insurance, annuities or exchanging a life insurance policy for long-term care benefits. You need to plan ahead because the worst time to start planning is when you’re already in a crisis.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the best strategy is to stay healthy so you need as little healthcare as possible. If you invest in your physical, mental and emotional health today you’ll be repaid with a better lifestyle and less need for doctors and prescription medicine in the future.

Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.

2 Comments

  1. There is a piece missing out of this article. Actually most articles like this leave it out. Its the one area of people who want to retire early. They currently have healthcare thru their work, they won’t be old enough to use medicare and they do have retirement $ so cannot use medicaid. Where does one go? Who can you trust to point you in the right direction to get the best health care coverage? You see so many articles on “I retired early and so can you” but no where in the article or blog do they tell you what they are using for insurance. In fact alot of them after you research there blog still have a spouse working and get health insurance thru them. We will be retiring in 2 years and we are in this position. This is the one thing that is at the top of my list on I don’t know what to do……

    • Great point, particularly when research indicates a healthcare costs constitute a significant portion of retirement expenses. I believe the answer for most people is to ensure they can self-fund until they are in a position to receive Medicaid.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

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