Individual Health Care Policies on the Rise for Older Residents
Insurers are beginning to market individual health insurance policies more aggressively to the seven million uninsured U.S. residents between ages 50 and 64 who do not yet qualify for Medicare, the AP/San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The marketing push is fueled by several factors, including:
- Baby boomers retiring early;
- Declining employer-sponsored health care coverage; and
- The potential for insurers to build ties to customers who may need Medicare-related insurance once they become eligible.
For example, Humana recently unveiled a new individual policy for early retirees, and WellPoint is testing a similar plan. Meanwhile, Aetna has announced a seven-year agreement with AARP to sell individual insurance policies to its members between 50 and 64.
Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, said individual health insurance policies can be costly for this age group because its members are more likely than younger populations to have chronic diseases or require treatment for heart disease or cancer.
Pollack added, "For those companies that may be willing to provide coverage to you, they'll charge you an arm and a leg because they will adjust their premiums to reflect what the risk might be" (Murphy, AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/2). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.