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Jim Lentini: How will baby boomers find health care solutions?

Posted: June 22, 2009 4:36 p.m.
Updated: June 23, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
By 2030, the over-65 population in the US is projected to swell to 72 million.

This is the group - composed of folks born between 1946 and 1964 - we call baby boomers.

Their presence raises several interesting questions, including this one: How will boomers find solutions about senior health care options?

I just recently attended a seminar about the changes in Medicare and supplemental health benefits, and I find the options and changes challenging to understand.

Today's oldest boomers, now age 63, will start assessing these options and changes fairly soon.

Assistance from agents and advisors will be extremely helpful when it comes to making choices about selecting the right supplement and dealing with the continued changes in Medicare and health care plans.

Increasing health care costs may cause boomers to be at risk of being unable to maintain their standard of living in retirement, according to many financial-industry and government reports.

Boomers have a different set of health care expectations than previous generations.

One report states that boomers expect to be healthy, stay healthy, and get "fixed" when they are "broken."

Boomers are already visiting doctors more often and using more prescription medications than previous generations.

It may be because they have worse health conditions than their parents, with work and diet being a major contributing factor to heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Boomers expect, and demand, high service levels, flexible products that are personalized or customized, and clinical-quality health care.

Putting all these factors together, boomers will want choices in health-care coverage, personalized choices that can change as individual health care needs change.

Many seniors who are new to Medicare are choosing supplemental health-insurance plans because the plans offer protection from variable and potentially high annual out-of-pocket costs associated with some Medicare options, and to eliminate the confusion and hassle of handling complex medical bills.

Jim Lentini,CLU,ChFC,IAR is President of Lentini Insurance & Investments,Inc. He can be reached at (661) 254-7633. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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