Your Guide to Health Insurance After Retirement
In 2020, 28 million people in the United States did not have health insurance. While most people have insurance through their employer, what happens when you retire?
Thankfully, there are a few different options to ensure that you still get health insurance after retirement and can save some money.
Keep reading to learn all about retiree insurance and what your options are.
Some employers will set up a healthcare coverage plan to ensure that the retirees are covered. However, this is normally contingent on how long you worked for the company.
For example, some companies will provide retirement insurance for those who retire early. The company could supplement the medical expenses by paying for part of the premium even if you’re no longer working for them.
These benefits are more likely if you worked for a large company since they have the resources to be able to do that. If you’re looking for a new job or considering this option, make sure you do your research before choosing a company.
However, even if your current employer doesn’t give you a specific retiree benefit, you still may be eligible through a government program. This will let you keep your insurance for a little bit even after you leave your job.
If you’ve been through retirement plan consulting, you’ve probably heard about medicare. It doesn’t kick in until you’re sixty-five years old, and there are costs that are associated with it.
Medicare is a healthcare program run by the federal government, and you also need to be a U.S. citizen and a legal resident for at least five years to qualify for it. You have also had to pay Social Security taxes for ten years.
If you qualify, you might automatically get enrolled. But some people still have to apply, and you’ll need to do this during open enrollment. This normally lasts from January to march.
Many retirees use Medicare but also get Medigap policies as well to give them extra coverage.
But even when using Medicare, you’re still going to have to cover costs for co-pays, prescription drugs, premiums, and any deductibles.
When you get Medicare, you’ll be able to choose different options. For example, if you get Medicare Part A, you’ll be covered in the event that you’re hospitalized. There normally aren’t a lot of premiums associated with this, but you will have a deductible that you’ll need to meet.
Medicare Part B will cover anything like doctor visits, medical equipment, and different tests. This has a premium, although you won’t have to pay it if you’re getting social security benefits.
Medicare Part C acts as a separate health plan that private insurers offer. It has its own different costs, so you should shop around
Private Individual Health Insurance
If you don’t want to deal with the government, you can try and find your own private individual health insurance, but this can be expensive. This is also a great option if you aren’t at a qualifying age to get Medicare yet.
You can normally enroll in private health insurance during the open enrollment, which is normally from November to December. After that, your coverage will start on January 1st.
However, keep in mind that when you retire from a job, the sixty days afterward will count as an enrollment period so you don’t have to wait until the end of the year.
You could also get healthcare through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). This was basically a law that said employees and their dependents can keep their insurance through their employer’s health plan.
This will last for eighteen months after you’ve left the company, but sometimes it can be extended as well. So if you aren’t ready to get Medicare, you could try getting COBRA and timing your retirement.
You won’t have to worry about any changes in your network, so you can keep going to the same pharmacies and doctors. However, only companies that have over twenty employees need to comply with this law.
If you retire before your spouse does, you may be able to still get healthcare through their plan. Some companies will even offer retiree health benefits to their employee’s spouses, so you should check the eligibility requirements.
However, sometimes the premiums can be higher, so consider that before you sign up.
Health Savings Account (HSA)
A health savings account is a great way to save money without being taxed on it. You’ll put some of the money away into an account before taxes are taken out, and then you can use them on medical expenses.
However, you can only use this if you have a high deductible plan. If you don’t have an HSA through your employer, you can open an account at a bank.
While Medicare can offer a lot of coverage, not everything will be covered. This is why many people get a different policy called Medigap to help fill in the gaps to be completely covered.
Normally, you’ll get Medigap insurance from a private insurer. You’ll be able to use it to cover expenses that are under Medicare, such as co-pays and deductibles.
However, if you get Medicare Part C and have a Medigap Policy, you won’t have to payout. So if you move into that plan and have a Medigap policy, you probably don’t need it.
Learn More About Health Insurance After Retirement
These are only a few different options for health insurance after retirement, but there are many other options that you could consider as well.
We know that figuring out retirement can be a tricky transition for some people, but we’re here to help you figure it all out.
Are you interested in more information like this? Explore our website!