Navigating Health Insurance After Retirement

For retirees of all ages, adequate health insurance continues to be a chief concern.

Healthcare coverage has become an annual decision and, for most, there is a single enrollment period, generally in the fall/winter. Typically, only those with a “qualifying event” (divorce, death, etc.) are allowed to secure coverage outside the annual enrollment period.

Those who retire before they turn 65 are particularly vulnerable to being caught in a healthcare coverage no man’s land. If you are in this category, you will need to secure coverage on your own because you won’t be eligible for Medicare. Without coverage, not only will you be personally liable for the cost of healthcare, you may have to pay a penalty for not having coverage as well.

Even before you turn 65, you will need to understand what Medicare covers – and what remains your responsibility. It is wise to consider the interplay between Medicare Parts A and B and to potentially opt for a privately held Medigap policy to cover expenses not reimbursed by Medicare.

If you have a pre-existing condition, The Affordable Care Act ensures that you can obtain coverage from health insurance carriers participating in the exchanges. However, as changes to The Affordable Care Act are contemplated by Congress, this may change.

Because there are so many options to consider, we recommend you meet with an experienced health insurance consultant who can assess your situation and suggest the options that might best meet your needs.