Many of us spend our working years on a company-sponsored health care plan, or perhaps on a spouse’s health care plan. When you (or your spouse) retire, you are likely going to make a change. Many soon-to-be retirees have questions about their health care options and the best way to prepare for the cost of health care as a retiree.
What are my health insurance options as a retiree?
Once you turn 65, you will be eligible for Medicare. For coverage effective 2021, Medicare open enrollment started on October 15, 2020, and will continue through December 7, 2020. There are many options with Medicare. While federally provided Medicare Part A (hospital inpatient) and Part B (Medical outpatient) are the base requirement, most people end up needing secondary insurance or a supplemental Medigap plan. At Prosperity, we have partnered with HTA, a reliable Medicare resource. HTA can compare prices from 30+ leading insurance carriers, explain the products, and help complete the enrollment. They also remain continuously available for future questions.
The Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA) requires employers with 20 or more employees to offer 18 months of coverage for employees when they leave their job. COBRA is often an expensive option because when you continue your health care plan under COBRA, you are responsible for the entire premium (including the portion your employer paid while you were working). Insurance companies can also tack on extra fees.
Individual Health Coverage
You also have the option of buying your own health insurance. If you plan to do this, it’s essential to shop around to get the best price. Insurance companies can sell plans directly to consumers or within the federal exchange. You can start comparing prices by going to www.healthcare.gov.
Along with establishing the federal exchange, the Affordable Care Act has also forbidden insurance companies from discriminating against consumers due to preexisting conditions. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t be charged more if you are older or have a condition.
What is the best way to save money for health insurance?
A Health Savings Account (HSA) may be a good option to save for health care in retirement. With an HSA, you can make tax-deductible contributions each year to pay for your current and future health care costs. Unlike an FSA account, the money you deposit into an HSA never “expires.” You also have the option to invest the funds that are in your HSA account. Talk to your carrier to see what your options are.
Are you ready for retirement?
Depending on where you live and your age, health care can significantly impact your retirement budget. At Prosperity, we work with clients to help them find the best value and show them how that will factor into their overall retirement plan.
Are you ready for retirement? Take our retirement readiness quiz to find out!
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