Health Insurance for Retirees Over 65: Informed Decision-Making

The sweet freedom of retirement has its perks, but it can also come with big expenses, particularly health care. Retirees with health insurance through their employer may be able to stay on the plan for up to 18 months after leaving their job through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act COBRA.

COBRA coverage typically ends on the last day of your employment or at the end of the month in which you turn 65, whichever comes first. In the event that you are still unable to find a suitable insurance plan, you may want to consider a retiree health reimbursement account (RHRA) set up by your employer. These accounts let you make tax-free contributions that can then be used to reimburse you for medical, pharmacy, dental and vision costs, as well as Medicare Part A and Part B premiums after you turn 65.

You can also look into enrolling in the ACA Obamacare marketplace, but you’ll need to keep in mind that you will be required to provide proof of income. This will be used to determine your eligibility for a subsidy, which is calculated as a form of modified adjusted gross income MAGI specific to the ACA and differs from the typical MAGI calculation. Depending on your income, you may qualify for free or low-cost health insurance through the marketplace, as well as through Medicaid programs run by each state.

Regardless of what option you choose, it is a good idea to shop around and compare the benefits and costs of each. As you do, be sure to look for a plan with providers and hospitals in your area who have agreed to accept your insurer’s network rates, as these are typically lower than those charged to out-of-network patients.

Informed decision-making is a process that involves gathering all available facts and information, making sense of them through critical analysis, and applying knowledge, training and experience to reach a clear and well-thought-out conclusion. Having access to reliable and relevant information helps reduce the risk of poor or ill-informed decisions that can negatively impact your team.

If you have a medical condition or are in limited financial circumstances, you may need to continue working to help pay for your health insurance until you’re able to transition to Medicare. You can ask your employer’s human resources department if you’re eligible for COBRA View more and other health coverage in the event that your position is terminated, or if you’re able to find another job with an insurer that offers those benefits.

Once you’ve secured your health insurance in retirement, be sure to review it annually, especially during open enrollment each fall. Benefits and costs change, and you’ll want to make sure you’re enrolled in the right plan for your needs.