Early retirement is something we all dream of, but what happens when we are able to achieve that goal? In terms of health insurance, it could mean a lapse in coverage. If you do plan to retire before becoming Medicare eligible at the age of 65, you have plenty of health insurance options to ensure that you have coverage in case you get injured or become ill. Those options are:
- Short-term health insurance
- Benefits through a part-time job
- Individual or family health insurance
COBRA: COBRA (The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) is an act that allows employees and their dependents to keep the group coverage that was provided by their previous employer. COBRA lasts up to 18 months after the employee leaves the company. An advantage of COBRA is the ability to keep the same coverage you had before but can come at a very high cost.
Short-term health insurance: Short-term health insurance is a cheap alternative option that is offered in most states. It’s an alternative to an individual or family plan but offers less comprehensive coverage. It still may help you avoid steep health care bills in a bad scenario. One large downfall is that you can be denied or charged higher premiums based on pre-existing health conditions.
Medicaid: Medicaid is another option, but you must be able to qualify for it based on income requirements. Although it could end up being the cheapest option, pending qualification, Medicaid does not have the same acceptance levels by doctors that Medicare does.
Part-time job: Finding a part-time job that offers health benefits after you retire is an option to help bridge the gap between retirement and Medicare eligibility. A part-time job is also a good way to fill free time gained through retirement.
Individual or family health insurance: In many cases buying an individual or family health insurance plan is going to be the best option. Although the private health insurance marketplace can be confusing, brokers, such as those at Minnesota Health Insurance Network, are available to provide help and guidance for no cost. There’s a large variety of plans available for all needs. You may also qualify for an advanced premium tax credit which can greatly decrease the cost of the plan for you. Due to the American Rescue Plan Act, more people qualify for this extra help with increased eligibility that dramatically supports the early-retiree community. All of the brokers at Minnesota Health Insurance are certified MNSure assisters and can help you navigate the process.
Call or email Minnesota Health Insurance Network to start the process and find out what option fits you.
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