Wednesday, 28 October 2009 09:27
Retiring early sounds good to many boomers who want to move on to their next phase of life. However, one obstacle to realizing that dream is how to be covered by health insurance until becoming Medicare eligible. Don’t let that be the one item that keeps you from realizing your dream. Here are a few ways you might be able to get coverage until Medicare.
Employer insurance – most companies don’t offer retiree insurance and even if they do right now, they have the right to cancel it at any time. If this is an option, feel very fortunate but also have a back-up plan if your former employer makes a change in benefit plans.
Spousal coverage – likely the most obvious method to get coverage is if your spouse continues to work allowing you to join that coverage. Usually you can only be added during open enrollment but ask, all insurances plans work differently. This is usually less expensive than buying an individual policy.
Cobra coverage – you can usually get up to 18 months of carry over health coverage when you leave your employer. Your costs can be as high as the full cost your employer pays for the insurance. The benefit is that this coverage cost is usually less than an individual coverage.
Buy your own policy – individual policies can be very expensive and have very high deductibles. However, even if this is your only option, it is much better than taking the risk of not having any coverage at all. Be sure to read coverage, rates and acceptability guidelines closely. One of the biggest challenges could be your current health status.
There are other options depending on your unique situation such as joining professional organizations, getting another part-time job that offers part-time health coverage, or even military coverage options if that applies. No matter your choice of coverage, choose a healthy lifestyle and many of your health concerns in retirement will be less costly.