Even healthy young consumers who lack any "pre-existing" medical conditions must pay thousands of dollars per year for the privilege of carrying health insurance. In the United States, the average annual cost of health insurance now exceeds $4,000 per year. For a family of four, this figure increases to more than $15,000. These costs are growing by as much as 10 percent per year. In fact, some health insurance companies recently announced annual premium increases of more than 10 percent. Meanwhile, the inflation rate hovers between 1 and 3 percent per year. It has become clear that the rising cost of health insurance has become a serious problem that threatens to undermine the broader economy.
If you're looking for health insurance for an aging family member, you should be prepared to spend several hundred dollars per month. Even if your relative is in prime physical condition, it's likely that she requires certain medications or appears to be at risk for developing certain illnesses. In addition, older individuals are more prone to injury than their younger counterparts. This is especially true for older women: Age-related bone loss puts women aged 50 years or older at risk for serious injuries after slips, falls and bumps.
Although the new Affordable Care Act makes it illegal for insurers to deny health insurance coverage for individuals with certain "pre-existing" conditions like osteoporosis, it has done little to lower the cost of policies for such "high-risk" patients. If your relative has diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease or another difficult-to-manage condition, you may be forced to pay more than $600 per month to insure her.
If your relative has an acute condition like cancer, she may cost more than $1,000 per month to insure. In addition, her policy may come with a high deductible amount and unfavorable coinsurance requirements. It's not uncommon for insurance companies to require high-risk policyholders to pay 50 percent of the ongoing costs of their medical care. Such an arrangement is likely to be unaffordable for policyholders who lack significant reserves of savings.
Fortunately, you may not have to wait very long to reduce the cost of your relative's health insurance. Once they turn 65, most American citizens and permanent residents can qualify to receive Medicare benefits. While Medicare might not cover costs associated with certain elective procedures, it has a generous prescription drug benefit that may save you and your relative hundreds of dollars per month.