Navigating Healthcare When You Retire

Securing a Health Care Plan in retirement can be a challenge if you retire before age 65 and are Medicare eligible. If you are under 65, there are typically two options available. First, you can continue on your employer’s health insurance (assuming you had an employer who offered health care) for up to 18 months. This is called COBRA. With COBRA, you will pay 102% of the premium—the full cost of the insurance plus a 2% administrative fee. Second, you can obtain your own coverage through the marketplace paying the going rate and keeping that coverage until you are Medicare eligible at age 65. Note that with the first option, the 18 month COBRA period may not take you to age 65 so you might still need to obtain your own policy for some period of time.