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Health Insurance Coverage for Early Retirees

Early retirement is defined as anything before the age of 65.1 If you decide to retire early, you may wonder about your health insurance options. Luckily, there are many ways to get early retiree health insurance.

If you decide to wait until you are 65 to retire, you may be able to qualify for Medicare. Medicare is a government program designed to help citizens over 65 pay for necessary healthcare.2 It’s important to note that Aflac does not offer traditional health insurance for early retirees, but we provide supplemental coverage to complement your existing plan.

If you find yourself with expensive out-of-pocket costs after your primary health insurance has been used, supplemental insurance can help you pay for the care you need. Some of our plans pay you cash benefits (unless benefits are assigned) that you can choose how you want to use — whether it be for treatments, medication, or everyday utilities like electricity and groceries.

For example, we offer accident insurance to help you recover from an unexpected injury, critical illness insurance to aid you back to health after a life-altering illness and cancer insurance to help pay for the necessary treatments and procedures involved with a cancer diagnosis. These are just a few of the options at Aflac for early retirees, so we recommend chatting with an agent to learn more about your options.

Read on to learn about how early retirement health insurance works, some types of plans available, and how supplemental insurance can provide additional coverage.

Can I get health insurance as an early retiree?

If you have employer-sponsored health insurance, you may be able to extend it for a few extra years after early retirement. If that isn’t the case, you can still find an early retirement health insurance plan that meets your specific coverage needs.

Deciding to retire early counts as a special enrollment period, allowing you to opt into a health insurance plan outside the typical enrollment schedule.1 Early retirement health insurance can fluctuate depending on the state you live in, your income, and how many dependents you have.

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Early retirement health insurance options

If you don’t have employer-sponsored health insurance, you can still get a plan through the government, your state or a private company. Let’s discuss how each one of these coverage options works.

Health Insurance Marketplace

A health insurance marketplace is a place where residents can buy health insurance through the state they live in. In some cases, you may be able to receive certain tax benefits and less expensive out-of-pocket costs depending on your income and who you are supporting.1

COBRA Coverage

COBRA stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. This act helps employees receive continued health insurance benefits from their employer if they lose their job or their hours are scaled back. Usually, businesses with over 20 employees are required to honor COBRA.3 COBRA usually can extend health insurance coverage anywhere from 18 to 36 months.3

Private Health Insurance

Lastly, you can always buy health insurance from a private company, separate from what is offered through the state. Usually, you may be able to get better benefits from a private health insurance company, but it can be more expensive than a state-run program.4

How much does early retirement health insurance cost?

The cost of health insurance for early retirees varies greatly depending on the plan you choose and your specific coverage needs. Costs can be influenced by the state you live in, your income, your dependents and whether you choose a private or public health insurance plan. As noted earlier, private health insurance options may be pricier than government-run programs.

Factors to consider when getting early retirement health insurance

When choosing the right early retirement health insurance plan, here are some factors you should consider:

  • Insurance provider and coverage: Compare insurance companies and the coverage their health insurance plans offer to find a plan tailored to your needs.

  • Premiums: Make sure you choose an early retirement health insurance plan with premiums that will fit your monthly budget.

  • Out-of-pocket costs: It’s important to consider how much you’ll pay in out-of-pocket expenses. When comparing plans, pay attention to out-of-pocket cost limits.

  • In-network providers: Before getting an early retirement health insurance plan, check to see if your current healthcare providers are in-network.

Types of supplemental insurance to complement your early retirement health insurance

Supplemental insurance can offer additional coverage for treatments and costs your primary insurance plan doesn’t cover. Here are some supplemental plans Aflac offers for early retirees:

  • Cancer insurance: Cancer insurance can give policyholders a payout as they go through cancer treatments after a diagnosis. Use the funds to cover any expenses, from medical bills to groceries.

  • Critical illness insurance: A critical illness insurance policy can help give you added financial security if you suffer a covered illness, such as a heart attack or stroke.

  • Hospital insurance: Hospital bills can be expensive, even with health insurance. The payout from a hospital insurance plan can help you meet your financial needs as you recover.

  • Accident insurance: If you suffer an unexpected injury, accident insurance can provide a cash benefit for financial support during your recovery.

  • Final expense insurance: This insurance plan is meant to help older adults and their loved ones pay for end-of-life costs, so that money doesn’t have to be the main focus for you and your family. Aflac offers final expense whole life insurance with reasonable premiums.

Get a quote for supplemental insurance in your early retirement

If you’re planning for early retirement, we recommend you look at each health insurance plan closely before making a decision. For those looking for additional support and fewer out-of-pocket expenses, Aflac supplemental insurance can make all the difference in getting you and your family the coverage you deserve. From critical illness insurance to final expense whole life insurance, our plans come with reasonable premiums that may fit your budget. Explore our variety of supplemental insurance products to discover better support.

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