Normal private health insurance premiums for retirees can be as low as $100 per month if you carry only Medicare Parts A and B. Part D costs about $30 to $40 per month. Part C or Medicare Advantage fluctuates more because of the different factors but can range from almost free to about $100 per month. If you carry individual health insurance because you have retired early, expect to pay no less than $200 per month if you are in excellent health.
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Private health insurance premiums for retirees will vary. Your age, gender, weight, personal health history, where you live, and lifestyle choices can greatly impact the cost of coverage.
Options If You Retire Before Age 65
What are my private health insurance options if I retire before 65? If you are lucky enough to retire before age 65, you will find that health insurance is one of the most significant things you have to handle. If you had a group health insurance plan, you will find that selecting private coverage is very complicated. If you cannot be added to your spouse’s policy, you will need to find private health insurance coverage.
It is important to get an actual quote to have a true idea of what normal private health insurance premiums for retirees will cost.
As you evaluate that option, be sure to check into the COBRA option available to you. Essentially the program allows you to continue your group coverage for a period of 18 months, 2 years or even 3 years following your retirement. However, timing is important and you must apply quickly following your day of work. COBRA coverage is costly because you will have to pay the employer and employee portions of the premium, but it may prove more cost effective than comparable private coverage.
Private individual health insurance is the option that many early retirees will use. If you are healthy, you will find that you can readily obtain coverage. However if you have pre-existing conditions, you may find that insurers do not want to provide coverage for you or offer plans that have significant limitations and exclusions. The alternative in such cases may be the high risk pool offered by many states.
Private Options for Retirees 65 and Older
What are my private health insurance options if I retire at 65 or older? If you retire at 65 or older, much of your health insurance will be covered by Medicare. However, due to limitations on the amount of coverage Medicare actually provides, most individuals seek out supplemental coverage. These supplemental health insurance plans give you additional coverage for things like dental and vision coverage, as well as helping you provide for the gaps in coverage that exist in the system.
Medicare health insurance consists of Parts A, B, C and D. Part A covers hospital care and is typically free for those who have paid taxes throughout their adult life. Part B takes care of other medical care such as visits to the doctor, preventative care, testing, outpatient care, home health care and medical supplies. There is a monthly premium based on the amount of medical expenses you had in the previous calendar year.
Medicare Part C or Medicare Advantage is a more comprehensive option of coverage and resembles group coverage like most employees carry. It may give you dental and vision coverage. Medicare Part C is administered by private health insurance companies. Different types of plans are available including HMOs, PPOs, special needs plans, and fee for service plans.
Medicare Part D is the prescription drug coverage portion of the plan. It helps you cover the many gaps in the drug portion of Medicare. For more information about Medicare and other private health insurance options for retirees, contact the AARP.
Choosing the Best Private Health Insurance Company
How do I choose the best private health insurance company? While lower health insurance premiums are an important factor when it comes to choosing your health insurance policy, it is equally important to choose a good private health insurance company. Not all insurers are created equal; there are differences in coverage and customer service. Check out a company thoroughly before committing to a new policy.
When you have narrowed down the options you are considering for your policy provider, look at the fine print. Be sure that the plan you are being offered truly meets your needs. Is the health care provider list comprehensive and convenient? Is everything included that you want in your policy?
When it comes to customer service, it is important to evaluate how a company does according to watchdog groups and according to actual customers. Take a moment to check with the Better Business Bureau or do an online search for consumer reviews of the company by name.
Check out the financial stability of the insurer you are thinking of going with. Simply go to one of the independent insurance ratings companies like Weiss Ratings or Moody’s and you will see the ranking of health insurance companies. These ratings are based on the economic stability and future outlook of these health insurance providers.
For individual health insurance rates, put our FREE health insurance quote tool to work now by inputting your ZIP code!