Exactly what type of insurance would superheroes need if they walked among us? Chances are they work a low-profile, secret-identity day job or they’re independently wealthy, but when the dangerous crime-fighting part of their double-life kicks in, they need comprehensive coverage to protect their superhuman health needs. Explore what it would take to get health insurance for a superhero.
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Healthcare Insurance For the Superhuman
Fighting crime and space invasions is a dangerous task. Superheroes need robust health insurance to cover medical expenses in case they suffer injuries during a typical (for them) day’s work. Alternatively, a catastrophic health insurance plan would provide coverage for life-threatening injuries — at least on Earth.
Thanks to the ACA, superheroes cannot be discriminated against for their likeliness to be flattened by asteroids or for pre-existing conditions like a serious allergy to Kryptonite.
What Would Affect Premiums?
Laws of physics and human biology aside, superheroes must still meet certain insurance requirements. As such, their premiums might fluctuate according to the factors below:
A superhero’s perpetual youthfulness, energy, and strength could come in handy as qualifiers for top-notch insurance plans with affordable premiums. Most superheroes could lock in their low rates because they literally do not age! Of course, the exception is if you are perpetually a wisened sage, in which case Medicare applies.
Superheroes fighting crime in Gotham might have access to a wider variety of low-cost plans than, say, an adopted farm-boy-turned-crime-fighter in rural Kansas. All superheroes should check if their preferred healthcare providers are in network before enrolling.
Individual or Family Enrollment
In their off-time, when they are not saving humankind, most superheroes enjoy the perks of a carefree adulthood with no dependents or kids. On the off-chance any superheroes are into multi-generational crime fighting, family plans are available.
Most superheroes generally refrain from tobacco usage, which could help keep their premiums lower. Using tobacco, such as smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco, can lead to higher premiums for anyone seeking insurance, superhero or not.
All ACA plans fall into Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum categories. It may seem fitting to superheroes that insurance plan categories reference precious metals but in actuality, these categories describe how payment sharing works between the policyholder and the insurer.
For example, Bronze plans typically have policyholders covering 40% of costs while Gold plans typically have policyholders covering 20% of costs. In other words, Platinum is code for a plan where superheroes may pay the most in monthly premiums but enjoy the lowest deductibles so their insurance can kick in and help pay for that bionic arm as soon as possible.
Health Insurance Features to Consider
Superheroes should be especially diligent in finding the perfect plan for their extremely unique healthcare needs. The following are some important features to consider:
- Access to specialists: Superheroes can expect to see specialists more frequently than general physicians due to the unusual nature of the ailments and injuries they sustain.
- Preferred hospitals: Superheroes can’t be blowing their secret identity by flying/jet-rocketing/teleporting across the country to visit an out-of-network hospital.
- Prescription drug coverage: Superheroes may need prescription-strength sunscreen for their interplanetary travels or antibiotics for those pesky radioactive spider bites.
Medicare For the Crimefighter
Not all superheroes are young, as a certain psychic professor of a school for supernaturally gifted students can attest to. Medicare can provide essential healthcare benefits for the sunset crew of crime fighters and retired doppelgängers of superheroes trapped in a parallel universe.
What Would Affect Premiums?
A variety of factors would affect the Medicare premiums of a superhero aged 65 or older. With Original Medicare, only your income and total Medicare tax contributions affect your Part A and Part B premiums, which are $0 and $164.90 for most people, respectively, in 2023.
Premiums may vary more when it comes to Medicare Advantage plans. Advantage plans are offered through private insurers and require a premium on top of Part B costs. While the average cost of an Advantage plan is $18 in 2023, plans in rural areas may offer fewer options and cost as much as $200, compared to larger networks with $0 plans in some areas.
Fortunately for superheroes, Medicare follows the wisdom of ACA coverage and will not use your health or occupation against you when it comes to enrolling in Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage.
Medicare Options to Consider
Superheroes may or may not need optional Medicare features, depending on whether their routine (for them) healthcare needs are covered by Original Medicare. However, options include:
- Medicare Advantage (Part C): Superheroes can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan to enjoy additional coverage for things like vision, hearing, and dental care. However, not every Medicare Advantage plan offers additional benefits. In addition, those specifically seeking coverage for laser vision or heightened echolocation-based hearing may be out of luck.
- Prescription drug coverage (Part D): Superheroes might need to purchase Part D coverage for prescription medication if it is not bundled into their Medicare Advantage plan or if they have Original Medicare.
- Medicare Supplement insurance (Medigap): Medigap can help with some expenses Original Medicare does not cover, such as Medicare’s copays and coinsurance. This could be beneficial for superheroes looking to keep costs down after retiring from their secret-identity day job.
From the weakest link to the fittest superhero, everyone needs insurance. Sure, superheroes might have to pay higher premiums for comprehensive coverage just in case they break their neck flying over the Empire State Building or nearly go blind moving an asteroid with their mind, but at least they would be protected. How do superheroes stay healthy, agile, and energetic at all times? Maybe self-care and good insurance really are the ultimate super powers!