6 Unique Health Insurance Plans for Retirees


By Justin D. Smith, CFA

Medical insurance is dear and sophisticated, yet critical to your physical and financial wellbeing. Most individuals depend on employer-provided medical health insurance until they qualify for government-provided coverage, mostly Medicare, at age 65.

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This presents an issue for people of their 50s and early 60s who’re leaving the standard workforce. Whether or not they’ve been displaced from the workforce, are retiring early, or blazing their very own trail, obtaining medical health insurance coverage will now fall on their shoulders.

Listed here are six common alternatives to employer-provided medical health insurance plans for early retirees:


In case your employer-provided medical health insurance coverage ended resulting from a qualifying event (reminiscent of termination, resignation, or retirement), a provision of the 1985 Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) includes the flexibility to proceed that coverage for 18 months post-termination. This may provide a critical short-term bridge as you search for longer-term solutions. Typically, you shall be accountable for paying the complete amount of the policy premiums. This implies the monthly cost could increase substantially as your employer is not any longer paying a portion. To estimate how much your COBRA premiums is likely to be, request that information out of your HR/Advantages department. You can too have a look at your W-2 Box 12 Code DD to get an estimate for the full cost paid by each you and your employer to your coverage.

For those approaching age 65, COBRA can potentially be a strategic component of an early retirement plan. Should you retire between ages 63 1/2 and 65, you possibly can depend on COBRA to bridge you until Medicare eligibility at 65. Nevertheless, concentrate on the extra costs you’ll probably incur. A special provision also exists for prolonged spousal COBRA coverage for as much as 36 months in certain situations when the first insured attains Medicare eligibility before a younger spouse.

2. Spousal or Domestic Partner Coverage

In case your spouse or domestic partner will proceed to have employer-provided coverage, that may be an awesome option for you as well. You’ll want to review the prices to find out whether your spouse or partner’s employer will contribute the identical amount toward non-employee coverage. You will have to get added to the policy during open enrollment or during a special enrollment if you’ve got experienced a life-changing event, reminiscent of job loss or retirement.

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3. Inexpensive Care Act Policies

The 2010 Inexpensive Care Act (also referred to as ACA or “ObamaCare”) created a standardized framework and marketplace for medical health insurance with the aim of creating coverage more attainable and reasonably priced. Each state and locality has a novel offering, with HMO, PPO, and other plan types available, including plans that meet a national standard.

Policies are categorized as Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum. These categories don’t have anything to do with the standard of care or access to care; they only categorize how the prices are split. With a Bronze plan, for instance, the typical policyholder pays 40% of all costs, with the insurer paying the remaining 60%. Silver, Gold, and Platinum policyholders pay an estimated 30%, 20%, and 10% of their costs, respectively. In exchange for higher levels of coverage and cost-sharing, premiums increase as you progress from Bronze to Silver, Gold, or Platinum.

Essentially the most impactful component of ACA policies is that purchasers may qualify for subsidies. The Premium Tax Credit may be taken prematurely to cut back monthly premiums, or it could possibly be refunded on a tax return. To qualify for the Premium Tax Credit, your household income might want to fall into specific annual income ranges which can be between 100% and 400% of the quantity of federal poverty limit. To learn more about ACA policies, the Premium Tax Credit, or to start out your enrollment, visit Healthcare.gov.

4. Part-Time Work

Lately, it has change into more common to see employers offer medical health insurance to employees working part-time. Starbucks and Home Depot are notable examples of enormous corporations that provide coverage to part-time staff. These corporations have attracted a major variety of potential employees with this profit. Smaller employers can also make coverage available to part-time employees, but a more thorough search could also be required to seek out the best fit. Some employers may also be willing to barter insurance coverage as a part of your part-time compensation package. Whichever route you selected, make sure you gain an intensive understanding of the insurance coverage and costs to make sure you are getting a good value in exchange to your labor. Also, be certain that the job fulfills your personal, skilled, and financial needs beyond just your need for medical health insurance.

5. Medicare

When you do hit age 65, you possibly can depend on Medicare for coverage, but that doesn’t mean you’re done planning. First, that you must prepare to your initial enrollment window, which opens three months before the month of your sixty fifth birthday and extends three months after. You will need to work through your initial enrollment during this seven-month window even when you still produce other coverage. Failure to achieve this could end in permanently higher premiums, resulting from penalties or lack of access to certain coverage types in the longer term. Every year, it is best to review your coverage needs during your annual enrollment to make sure you maintain the best fit to your unique situation. Lastly, remember that your Medicare premiums could also be subject to extend in case your income reaches a certain threshold. These increases are called the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts (IRMAA) surcharge. With strategic tax planning, chances are you’ll give you the option to cut back these surcharges. To learn more, visit Medicare.gov.

6. Private Policies

Private policies outside of the ACA parameters can also be available. These may include catastrophic plans or other coverage types. Take care to review what’s covered to make sure you get the protection you wish.

Get Help

Irrespective of which route you’re taking, it’s often precious to get help from knowledgeable medical health insurance agent. I encourage my clients to work with an agent who makes a speciality of the style of coverage they need (ACA, Medicare, etc.). The excellent news for consumers is that agent commissions are typically embedded in your premium even when you don’t use an agent, so there isn’t a increase in the quantity you pay. To search out an agent near you, visit NAHU.org.

Concerning the Writer: Justin D. Smith, CFA®, CFP®

Justin D. Smith, CFA®, CFP®, a financial advisor at Savant Wealth Management, makes a speciality of helping executives and successful professionals of their 50s and 60s who’ve been displaced, or who are only pondering ahead, plan their next chapter. Whether or not they wish to stay in the company world, retire, or blur the lines to get the very best of each worlds, Justin helps them explore what’s possible and guides them on their journey.

Savant Wealth Management (“Savant”) is an SEC registered investment adviser headquartered in Rockford, Illinois. Past performance will not be indicative of future results. It’s best to not assume that any discussion or information contained on this document serves because the receipt of, or as an alternative choice to, personalized investment advice from Savant.

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