When you retire from work at age 62, one of the biggest challenges to overcome is how you’re going to pay for health insurance until you reach Medicare eligibility at age 65. Many people who have a stable job and paid into an employer-sponsored group health plan will find that their current coverage will continue through COBRA or state continuation, at least for the year of retirement. But for those who don’t, finding affordable individual health insurance can be difficult, especially if you have pre-existing conditions that may make it impossible to get an affordable marketplace plan.
The good news is that, if you do decide to forgo retiree healthcare coverage and switch to a new individual health plan, there are still plenty of options. In addition to Medicare, you can sign up during the open enrollment period for a marketplace plan with your new retired-life income, and you may also qualify for premium tax credits based on your household size and income.
Whether you’re a Medicare beneficiary or not, you can use our free online Navigate to the site comparison tool to compare rates and benefits on the best senior health insurance plans in your area. We’ve researched hundreds of companies and ranked them on cost, coverage, customer service, and availability. The best health insurance for seniors and retirees includes comprehensive coverage to meet your specific needs, including prescription drug plans, dental and vision, hospitalization and outpatient procedures, and supplemental plans to help you with out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and copays.
Our top pick for supplemental health insurance comes from Humana, which offers an excellent combination of affordable premiums and high ratings across its portfolio. Its popular Medicare Advantage plans come in a variety of options including A, B, F, High Deductible F, G, and N. It’s also a top choice for our pick for best Medicare Part D provider, offering low-cost, widely available policies with very competitive premiums and low deductibles.
The most popular option for healthcare in retirement is Medicare. This government program provides comprehensive hospital and medical insurance for all seniors and retirees over the age of 65. The best Medicare health insurance plans include Parts A, B, and D for those over the age of 65, as well as Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage).
If you’re a younger retiree with serious or chronic health issues, you may need to consider alternatives. If you’re unable to afford the cost of Medicare, private insurers offer supplemental insurance plans, known as Medigap, that can help cover out-of-pocket expenses and reduce your share of the bill. There are also Medicare Advantage plans that combine parts of the Original Medicare with extras, such as dental and vision care, for example. Medicare is the best choice for those who have no other insurance, but you should always shop around to be sure you’re getting the lowest possible rates on premiums and deductibles. You may be surprised at how much you can save by switching providers.