Healthcare costs are some of the highest and most unpredictable expenses in retirement. But this also means it’s a decision that requires planning and preparation.
Finding a healthcare plan that meets your physical needs and aligns with your retirement savings is important. Here are our tips for how to plan for healthcare in retirement.
Early Retirement Health Insurance Options
If you retire before you turn 65, you won’t yet be eligible for Medicare. Since you will lose access to your employee healthcare, you’ll need to find a plan to bridge the gap. Some of your health insurance options include:
- Your spouse’s insurance
- Keeping your current insurance through COBRA
- Short-term health insurance
- Insurance from a part-time job
- Individual and family health insurance
- Enrolling in an Affordable Care Act plan
If your spouse has insurance, we recommend investigating this option first. If not, seeking short-term health insurance or individual/family insurance will be most people’s best option while waiting for Medicare eligibility.
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Choosing the Right Medicare Option
Medicare has several healthcare options, and comparing them can get confusing. We recommend starting your hunt for the right Medicare plan at least a year before you plan to enroll. Here is an overview of the Medicare plans.
Part A: This plan is free for people who paid taxes during their careers. Part A covers in-patient hospitalization and, in some cases, nursing facility care, hospice, and home health care.
Part B: This option covers outpatient care by a doctor, including medical tests, drugs administered, and preventative measures (ex. flu shots). Part B also includes durable medical equipment, mental health, and ambulance services.
Parts A and B do not cover long-term care, dental care, elective surgeries, hearing aids, or residential care homes.
Medicare Advantage: Also known as Part C, Medicare Advantage covers traditional costs associated with Medicare but includes other healthcare needs such as dental, vision, hearing, prescription drugs, and gym memberships. If you don’t have many health concerns and don’t mind which network of providers you can choose from, this is a great option!
Some areas may have limited access to Medicare Advantage. Check your availability before choosing this option!
Part D: This is prescription drug coverage. Each prescription drug is on a different “tier” based on its cost. See the current list here.
Medigap: The last plan is Medicare Supplement Insurance. Medigap offers several different plans to cover the areas that Medicare doesn’t.
Find the Right Healthcare Plan for You
Starting early will prepare you to confidently enter retirement with the right healthcare plan for you.
If you want to talk about your options and how they fit into your retirement budget, reach out to our advisors!
P.S. Here’s what you need to know about Social Security and how to use it for your financial future.