Unique Healthcare Needs of High-Net-Worth Individuals

A doctor sits with a patient and takes notes on a tablet.

A doctor sits with a patient and takes notes on a tablet.

In the intricate world of healthcare and insurance, high-net-worth individuals often face unique challenges and opportunities. Their healthcare needs, lifestyle and financial situation necessitate a different approach to insurance, one that is tailored to their specific circumstances. Whether you have a high net worth or not, a financial advisor can help you manage risk and plan for medical expenses throughout your life.

Unique Healthcare Needs of High-Net-Worth Individuals

High-net-worth individuals often have unique healthcare priorities that standard insurance policies might not adequately cover. For instance, they value discretion and privacy, and they may want access to an extensive network of specialists. High-net-worth individuals also may require comprehensive international coverage and seek a higher degree of personalization than what standard policies often provide.

A high-net-worth individual with an international lifestyle may emphasize the need to access premium healthcare services globally. Understanding these unique needs is the crucial first step towards selecting health insurance that truly aligns with their lifestyle.

Let’s imagine a scenario where Marissa, a high-net-worth individual, experiences an unexpected health problem while she’s on her usual business trip overseas. The local healthcare facilities are inadequate, her existing insurance does not provide for international coverage and the specialist treatment she needs is not readily accessible. Unequipped with the right health insurance coverage, she finds herself facing both a health and financial quandary.

Importance of Protecting Yourself Against Health Expenses

A nurse sits with patient in her hospital room and asks her questions about her health.

A nurse sits with patient in her hospital room and asks her questions about her health.

In an unpredictable world, safeguarding yourself against the financial ramifications of health expenses is an imperative that cannot be overlooked. The modern healthcare landscape, while providing advanced treatments, often comes with a steep price tag. For example, a hospital stay on average costs $2,883 per day in the United States, according to KFF, a health policy research organization.

Comprehensive health insurance serves as a reliable shield against exorbitant medical bills, offering access to quality care without burdening your finances. A well-chosen insurance plan can encompass hospital stays, surgeries and even preventive services, ensuring that your well-being remains a priority.

The need for adequate coverage only intensifies in retirement. The Employee Benefit Research Institute found that even with supplemental insurance known as “Medigap” coverage, the average man will need $166,000 in savings to pay for their healthcare needs in retirement. Since women have longer lifespans, their healthcare needs in retirement require $197,000 in dedicated savings. Meanwhile, the average two-person household needs $318,000.

Retirement Health Insurance Options

There are myriad health insurance choices to make in retirement. Understanding your options is a critical first step to take in the process:


A cornerstone of retirement healthcare, Medicare provides coverage for individuals aged 65 and older. It encompasses Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance), which cover hospital stays, doctor visits and preventive services. Additionally, Part D offers prescription drug coverage, while Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) combine all these services through private insurers.


Also known as Medicare Supplement plans, Medigap policies are designed to fill the gaps in original Medicare coverage. These plans, offered by private insurers, cover copayments, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses, providing a comprehensive healthcare safety net.

Employer Coverage

Some individuals continue to receive health benefits from former employers through retiree health plans. It’s essential to understand the extent of coverage, potential costs and any limitations these plans may have.

Concierge Medicine

Concierge medicine, also known as retainer medicine, presents an appealing alternative for high-net-worth individuals seeking personalized healthcare. With concierge services, individuals pay an annual fee to a chosen physician or medical practice. Those fees can range as high as $20,000 per year. In return, they receive expedited appointments, longer consultation times and a more direct line of communication with their healthcare provider. This approach ensures that medical care is not only prompt but also highly individualized.

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

If you have a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), contributing to an HSA during your working years allows you to accumulate tax-free funds for medical expenses in retirement. HSAs offer flexibility and control over healthcare spending. These accounts are triple tax-advantaged – contributions are tax-deductible, they grow tax-free and can be withdrawn without being taxed as long as they pay for qualified medical expenses.

Long-Term Care Insurance

While not traditional health insurance, long-term care insurance covers assistance with daily living activities, which aren’t typically covered by Medicare or other health plans. It’s a consideration for those concerned about the costs of assisted living or in-home care. For example, the median monthly cost of a private room in a nursing home was over $9,000 in 2021, according to Genworth and that figure is expected to rise to nearly $22,000 by 2051.

How Health Insurance for the Wealthy Is Different

A doctor writes a prescription for a patient.

A doctor writes a prescription for a patient.

High-net-worth health insurance policies often boast unconventional features. However, this does not necessarily make them superior to standard policies. Each plan is tailored to target a particular group’s needs. In the case of high-net-worth individuals, the policies focus on accommodating elements like international coverage, access to top medical specialists and faster medical services – attributes less emphasized in standard health insurance.

How to Find the Right Coverage for You

You hold the reins when it comes to choosing the right health insurance policy. Your decisions will be fueled by personal factors such as health status, lifestyle, travel habits, retirement plans and the financial impact of different health insurance options. Here, professional advice from a financial advisor can prove vital, particularly in understanding the tangle of health insurance, the implications of different options and aligning the chosen policy with your financial plan.

Bottom Line

High-net-worth individuals must grapple with distinctive challenges and opportunities when it comes to managing their health insurance. Their unique healthcare needs, coupled with their financial standing and lifestyle, necessitate a tailored insurance approach. Whether you fall into the high-net-worth category or not, having comprehensive insurance can promote financial security and ensure that unexpected health-related costs don’t disrupt your financial equilibrium.

Risk Management Tips

  • Life insurance plays an important role in many people’s financial plans. However, choosing the right amount of coverage can be challenging. SmartAsset has a tool designed to help you decide how much life insurance coverage you need to ensure your loved ones have what they need if something were to happen to you.

  • A financial advisor can also help you address your insurance needs. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

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