Navigating Health Insurance Options for Early Retirement at 62

Retiring before the traditional age of 65 is a dream for many, but securing affordable health insurance can be a daunting task. If you’re planning to retire at 62, you’ll need to bridge the gap until you become eligible for Medicare at 65. Fortunately, there are several options available to ensure you have adequate health coverage during this transition period.

Understanding the Health Insurance Marketplace

The Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as the Affordable Care Act Marketplace or, is a valuable resource for individuals seeking health insurance options. If you retire before age 65 and lose your job-based health plan, you can use the Marketplace to purchase a plan. Losing health coverage qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period, allowing you to enroll in a health plan even if it’s outside the annual Open Enrollment Period (November 1 – January 15).

When you apply through the Marketplace, you’ll find out if you qualify for premium tax credits and lower out-of-pocket costs based on your income and household size. This can make health insurance more affordable during your early retirement years.

Exploring Additional Options

In addition to the Health Insurance Marketplace, there are several other options to consider for health insurance if you retire at 62:

  • Spouse’s Health Insurance Plan: If your spouse is still employed and has access to employer-sponsored health insurance, you may be able to join their plan as a dependent.

  • Private Health Insurance: You can purchase private health insurance directly from insurance companies. However, keep in mind that you won’t be eligible for premium tax credits or other savings based on your income.

  • COBRA: The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) allows you to temporarily continue your employer-sponsored health insurance plan after retirement, but you’ll be responsible for paying the full premium.

  • Health Share Plans: Health share plans, also known as health share ministries, are not traditional insurance but rather a group of members who agree to share medical costs. However, these plans may have limitations and may not cover pre-existing conditions.

  • Medicaid: If your household income drops significantly after retirement, you may qualify for Medicaid, a state-run program that provides health coverage for low-income individuals and families.

  • Part-time Work with Health Benefits: Some companies offer health insurance benefits to part-time employees, making the “Barista FIRE” (Financial Independence, Retire Early) approach a viable option for early retirees seeking health coverage.

Factors to Consider

When choosing a health insurance option for early retirement at 62, it’s essential to consider factors such as premiums, deductibles, copays, and the specific coverage offered by each plan. Additionally, take into account any potential tax implications or penalties associated with your chosen path.

It’s also crucial to plan ahead and ensure you have sufficient retirement savings to cover the costs of health insurance until you become eligible for Medicare at 65. Consulting with a financial advisor or insurance professional can help you navigate the complexities of early retirement and make informed decisions about your health coverage.

Remember, your health is invaluable, and having adequate insurance coverage can provide peace of mind and financial security during your well-deserved retirement years.

Retiring early: How much your health insurance will cost


Can you get Medicare if you retire at 62?

No. Unless you have a disability, you must turn 65 to sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B. And if you want to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Supplement insurance plan, then you need to first have Part A and Part B.

How much will health insurance cost me if I retire early?

But how much does health insurance cost for early retirees? According to a 2020 study, an individual plan can cost up to $5,500 each year – and closer to $14,000 for a family plan. For a retiree on a budget, that can be a big expense.

Can I get AARP health insurance at 62 without?

How old do you have to be to get AARP health insurance? The age at which you can get health insurance plans that AARP makes available through its partnership with UnitedHealthcare are for those eligible for medicare, which would typically be Americans age 65 or older.

Why retiring at 62 is a good idea?

Many senior adults struggle with conditions like heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. Retiring in your early 60s will allow you to focus more on your health and lower your risk of developing these conditions. Retiring at the early age of 62 is also beneficial to those who already have serious health concerns.

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