Navigating Affordable Health Insurance Options For Retirees Over 65

Many retirees are accustomed to having health insurance through their employer. As a result, they may be surprised to find out that this type of coverage is not automatically available when they leave their jobs. For instance, some employers offer COBRA—a health care plan that allows former employees to continue their health benefits for a limited amount of time. However, this coverage can be expensive because the health care premium is not subsidized by the employer. Moreover, it typically runs out after 18 months.

Other retirees, especially those who work in public service or at large companies with a union-based workforce, have access to a variety of health insurance options once they leave their jobs. In some cases, these retiree-friendly plans are not as costly as private insurance. These plans are often offered by retirement-oriented financial companies, like Aflac.

For those who are able to afford private health insurance, it is important to factor the cost of this coverage into their retirement budget. The average marketplace insurance premium was $438 per month in 2022, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). And remember that premiums increase based on age.

It is also helpful to speak with an experienced health insurance agent about this topic when planning for retirement. They can conduct a comprehensive analysis of the client’s medical history and medication list to determine the most cost-effective option. Additionally, an experienced agent can help clients enroll during open enrollment, which occurs each fall.

Navigating Affordable Health Insurance Options for Retirees Over 65

Most people turn to Medicare at age Affordable health insurance options for retirees over 65 65, and this national health insurance program is designed to help seniors with the costs of healthcare. Most seniors will qualify for free Medicare Part A Hospital insurance, while those who need extra assistance can opt into other supplemental health insurance.

Those who want to delay their Medicare eligibility and claim Social Security benefits earlier can purchase private health insurance through the marketplace. In addition, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 eliminated the “subsidy cliff” through 2025, making marketplace insurance more affordable for many early retirees.

Another option is to contact your state’s SHIP—state health insurance programs that provide volunteers who can help you navigate your options and enroll in healthcare. Many states are implementing these programs to address the growing demand for free or low-cost healthcare options for retirees.

Whatever option you decide to pursue, it is important to be proactive about evaluating your options annually during open enrollment. This can ensure that your choices are the best ones based on current information, such as changes to benefit structures or prices of health insurance options. For the best results, it is recommended that you consult with an experienced health insurance professional to assist with your plan evaluation and enrollment. In fact, a registered nurse can conduct an in-person assessment to help you make informed decisions about your retirement healthcare options. For more information, contact us at Aflac.