How Old Do You Have to Be to Qualify for Humana?

Written By: Nathan Justice
Reviewed By: William Rivers
Published: October 6, 2023
Last updated: March 10, 2024

Navigating the maze of healthcare options can be daunting, especially when eligibility requirements come into play. One of the frequently asked questions revolves around age criteria for various health insurance programs, including those provided by Humana. Founded in 1961, Humana is a leading health insurance company in the United States, offering Humana Healthy Food Card and more.

But how old do you have to be to qualify for Humana? This article delves into the specific age requirements for Humana's various plans, ensuring that you can make informed decisions about your healthcare needs. Whether you're considering Humana for yourself, a family member, or a friend, understanding these criteria is essential. But before diving into the age requirements, let’s take a closer look at Humana and its offerings.

Exploring Humana’s Offerings

Humana is a private insurance firm that collaborates with Medicare to provide benefits to its plan members. With over 17 million members nationwide, Humana has become one of the nation's largest managed healthcare companies, serving millions of members in its insurance and health programs.

Humana's commitment extends beyond just providing insurance. They're known for their dedication to improving community health and wellness, spearheading various initiatives and programs that emphasize preventive services, health education, and community engagement. The company offers a wide range of health, pharmacy, and supplemental benefit plans for individuals, families, and groups.

Its product range includes health maintenance organization (HMO), preferred provider organization (PPO), private fee-for-service (PFFS), and specialty products like dental, vision, and other supplemental health benefits. Humana Gold even covers transportation! Eligible Medicare Advantage members can also apply for the Humana Healthy Options Allowance and Healthy Food Card.

Humana’s Age Requirements: How Old Do You Have to Be to Qualify For Humana?

So, how old do you have to be to qualify for Humana? To access the Medicare program provided by Humana, the primary requirement is that you should be 65 years old or above. However, it's essential to note that there are specific exceptions to this age rule.

If you're under the age of 65 but have certain disabilities or are diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), which is a terminal stage of kidney disease that necessitates either dialysis or a kidney transplant, you might still be eligible for Medicare.

Here's a detailed breakdown of the Medicare eligibility criteria:

  • Individuals aged 65 or above

  • Those below 65 years of age but with a recognized disability

  • Persons diagnosed with ESRD, signifying a severe kidney failure stage that requires dialysis or a kidney transplant

Once you meet the eligibility criteria for Medicare, you have the option to enroll in the Original Medicare or opt for a Medicare Advantage plan. The Original Medicare is structured as a fee-for-service model, encompassing Part A, which deals with hospital insurance, and Part B, which covers medical insurance.

On the other hand, Medicare Advantage plans, offered by private insurance entities like Humana, incorporate all the benefits you'd get from Original Medicare. Moreover, they often come with added advantages such as dental, vision, and hearing coverage.

Special Considerations

While many believe that Medicare is only for those aged 65 and over, this isn't entirely accurate. Individuals under 65 can also be eligible for Medicare under certain conditions:

  1. If you're below 65 and have been receiving disability benefits from either Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board for a minimum of 24 months, you'll automatically be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.

  2. Disabled federal, state, or local government employees not qualifying for Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits might still become eligible for Medicare two years after their disability qualification.

Humana Healthy Options Allowance

This is an allowance provided to certain Humana plan members, typically those enrolled in specific Medicare Advantage plans. The allowance is dedicated to covering or offsetting the cost of over-the-counter (OTC) health products.

Eligible members can utilize the Humana Healthy Options Allowance to purchase approved non-prescription items like vitamins, first-aid supplies, and other health-related products. These items can often be ordered through a catalog or an online store designated by Humana. The aim is to provide members with the flexibility to buy OTC products that can enhance their health without the burden of out-of-pocket expenses.

The amount allocated for the Healthy Options Allowance is not consistent; it fluctuates depending on the specific plan and location. On a monthly basis, the allowances provided can be as low as $35 or can go up to $275.

Humana Healthy Foods Card

The Healthy Foods Card is an innovative initiative by Humana to address food insecurity and promote healthier dietary choices among its members. Eligible members receive a pre-loaded debit card that can be used to purchase approved food items at participating stores. The list of approved items often focuses on nutritious foods that support a balanced diet.

The value loaded onto the card can vary based on the plan and other factors, but the primary goal remains consistent: to make healthier food choices more accessible and affordable for members. This initiative not only helps members with their grocery bills but also encourages them to prioritize nutrition, ultimately leading to better health outcomes.

How to Apply For Humana

After determining your eligibility and age requirement, the next step is to enroll for Humana.

1. Online Application Process

  • Begin by navigating to the Humana website.

  • Locate and click on the "Shop and Enroll" option.

  • To proceed, you'll need to set up an account. This requires basic details such as your name, date of birth, and address.

  • Once registered, browse through the available Humana plans. When you find a suitable one, proceed to apply for your desired coverage.

2. Phone Application Process

  • Dial 1-800-486-2363 to connect with a Humana sales representative. For TTY services, use 1-800-486-2048.

  • The representative will guide you in selecting an appropriate Humana plan and assist you throughout the application process.

After completing your application, expect a confirmation notice, typically delivered by mail. Note that your coverage's commencement will be aligned with the start date you chose during your application.

Handy Tips for a Smooth Humana Application

  • Preparation: Keep essential personal details like your name, date of birth, address, and Social Security number readily accessible.

  • Medicare Eligibility: Confirm if you're eligible for Medicare. This can be done via the Social Security Administration website.

  • Plan Comparison: Make an informed choice by comparing various Humana plans. The Medicare Plan Finder tool on the Medicare website can be invaluable for this.

  • Inquiries: Don't hesitate to ask questions. Humana representatives are always ready to provide clarity on the application procedure or any plan-related queries.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How old do you have to be to qualify for Humana under Medicare?

Generally, individuals become eligible for Medicare, and subsequently Humana Medicare plans, when they turn 65.

2. Can I qualify for a Humana plan if I'm under 65?

Yes. While the primary age for Medicare eligibility is 65, certain individuals under 65, such as those with specific disabilities or conditions like end-stage renal disease (ESRD), can also qualify for Medicare and, by extension, Humana Medicare plans.

3. If I qualify for early Medicare due to disability, when will my Humana coverage start?

If you qualify for Medicare due to disability, you'll typically be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B after receiving disability benefits for 24 months. Once enrolled in Medicare, you can choose a Humana plan that aligns with your needs.

4. Are there age requirements for other Humana insurance products that aren't Medicare-related?

Humana offers a variety of insurance products, and age requirements might vary. It's best to consult directly with Humana or refer to the specific product details for more information.

5. Can I switch to a Humana Medicare plan if I'm already enrolled in Original Medicare and am over 65?

Yes, if you're already enrolled in Original Medicare and wish to switch to a Humana Medicare Advantage plan or other Humana Medicare-related plans, there are specific enrollment periods, like the Annual Enrollment Period, when you can make this change.

6. What is the age requirement for a dependent to be covered under my Humana family plan?

Age requirements for dependents can vary based on the specific Humana plan and state regulations. Typically, children can remain on a parent's plan until age 26. However, it's essential to check the specific terms of your Humana policy.

Maximizing Humana’s Benefits

Understanding age requirements when considering insurance plans, especially with providers like Humana, is crucial for making informed decisions. While age 65 is the standard benchmark for Medicare eligibility, there are provisions for younger individuals under specific circumstances.

Maximizing your health benefits should be as easy as doing your grocery shopping. If you're a Humana member aiming to make healthier food choices, you might be wondering: Can you use the Humana Healthy Food Card at Walmart? It's essential to know where your benefits can take you! Let's delve deeper into how Humana and Walmart might team up to support your wellness journey. Explore now!

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Nathan Justice manages community outreach programs and forums that help many senior citizens. He completed a counseling program at the University of Maryland’s Department of Psychology.
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