Health insurance considerations weigh heavily on the minds of people wanting to retire before Medicare coverage kicks in at age 65. Many people put off retirement simply because the cost of an individual health insurance policy is too great on a limited income.
What options for health insurance do you have if you choose to retire before age 65? Although they are not required to, you may be able to get COBRA-like coverage from your employer.
As an added retirement benefit, your employer may allow you to pick up the premium on your policy; although paying 100% of your premium may initially appear to be an expensive option, purchasing an individual policy apart from a group may be even more costly and not provide you with the level of coverage you previously had.
Some companies are offering basic high-deductible insurance reasonably in the hopes that they will be able to enroll you in Medicare Part C (supplemental insurance) when you retire.
Another option is to budget and save money to cover your anticipated medical costs for the time period between retirement and age 65. If you are in very good health, this may be a viable alternative for you.
Pre-planning for retirement is an important issue; the earlier you start planning, the better. Realizing the Medicare does not pay all of your medical expenses, you should budget money for medical expenses even after retirement.