Are you retiring early? If so, congratulations. Early retirement is a great accomplishment. It gives you a chance to enjoy your retirement while you are still relatively young and healthy. You can travel, pursue a favorite hobby, or simply relax and spend time with friends and family.
While retiring early can be a great thing, there are a few challenges that come along with it. One is healthcare. If you're like most, you had health insurance through your employer during your career. Most retirees use some version of Medicare for health insurance in retirement, but that doesn't start until age 65. If you retire early, you may have a gap in medical coverage until you reach 65.
You can't go without health insurance. It's a major financial and medical risk to be uninsured. What are your options? Below are three possible ways to obtain medical coverage insurance until you reach 65:
Just because you're leaving your career doesn't mean you have to leave your employer's plan. In fact, it's possible for you to stay on that plan for a limited period of time. There are two ways to do this. One is through your state's COBRA program which allows you to stay on your employer's plan after leaving your employer. You have to pay 100 percent of the premiums with no subsidy from your employer, but you can do it. The other option is that many employers allow retirees to stay on their plans as long as the retiree pays all of the premiums. Check with your employer to see if you can do this.
Health insurance market plans.
The national health insurance marketplace is another option where you can find individual plans that may better fit your needs and budget. You can find available plans with a quick online search or by speaking with a licensed agent. Here you may be able to find plans with lower premiums than your employer's plan so you can get the protection you need without breaking the bank.
Organization membership plans.
Are you a member of a professional organization like a trade union or a chamber of commerce? Many of these organizations offer health insurance to their individual members. You have to pay the premiums on the plan, but you could get a discount for being a member of the organization. It's possible these plans may be more affordable than an employer plan or a marketplace plan.
Talk to a medical insurance coverage agent to learn more about your options. They can help you find a plan that meets your needs and budget.