You’ve done it – you’ve saved enough and can afford to retire early. As you begin planning for early retirement, remember to check your health insurance coverage before leaving your employer.
Medicare is only available if you are age 65. Also, Medicare does not cover dental or vision care.
If your spouse is younger and/or you have a young family, Medicare will only cover your health expenses. There is no “family” coverage under Medicare. This issue is common for those who may have a non-working spouse in their 50’s and for those who may have started having children later in life.
Employers with over 20 employees are required to offer COBRA insurance. This coverage allows you to keep your current insurance plan, but it’s at a higher premium and limited timeframe.
If possible, negotiate with your employer healthcare coverage for you and your family before you retire from work. Your employer may be able to keep you on as a consultant or create another role for you to ensure you have health benefits until you become eligible for Medicare.
Another option is to use the health insurance marketplace offered through the Affordable Care Act. Pay attention to coverage limits, access to your physicians, and cost before selecting an option.
If your spouse works, explore health insurance options under his/her plan. Your plan may be the better choice and why you selected it initially. However, your spouse’s plan is a better option than having no coverage or may be better than what’s available through the marketplace.
At one time, many insurance providers offered various healthcare insurance options to individuals who were not covered by an employer plan. Working with a health insurance broker assisted in finding the right insurance coverage. However, with the Affordable Care Act, many insurance providers stopped offering coverage. Check with a health insurance broker to find out what’s available in your state as you make your decision.
If you belong to a professional organization, check to see if they offer health insurance for members. Some organizations negotiate insurance rates to help those who may be sole practitioners.
Retiring early is definitely something to celebrate. But before you turn in your notice to your employer, explore health insurance coverage for you and your family. It may impact your decision.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, RICP®, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include developing spending plans, comprehensive financial plans, divorce financial reviews, retirement plans. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’”