Retiring early this year? Look through Affordable Care Act plans now before the deadline Saturday

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Healthcare is one of the biggest expenses in retirement, and one of the biggest risks for people retiring before age 65.

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Retirement Tip of the Week: Before the open enrollment period ends on January 15, the Affordable Care Act plans to see which will be best for you in early retirement—even if you don’t need to enroll now.

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During this enrollment period, approximately 14 million people have signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, either on the federal exchange, at their state’s exchange, or on HealthCare.gov, during this enrollment period. wall street journal Reported, But even those who don’t need to enroll now should consider those options if they plan to retire before age 65.

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Most workers don’t qualify for Medicare until age 65, which means those hoping to start retirement sooner and leave the workforce altogether may be without health insurance. If they are not covered elsewhere, such as through a spouse’s plan. Even couples in which one spouse becomes eligible for Medicare have to worry about the younger, non-working spouse and their health care.

Some financial advisors suggest going to work part-time, or finding a less stressful and more enjoyable job that offers health insurance until retirement. This is not always the ideal plan, however, in this case, it is important to look for individual health insurance.

“Many people who are approaching early retirement have been on a group plan for quite some time and finding health insurance can be baffling,” said Nathan Teeter, manager of small business sales at eHealth. There are so many factors to consider – what budget does retirees have, what plans cover their favorite doctors, what health issues are addressed, for example. Americans choosing their plans should compare different carriers when shopping for individual health insurance.

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Paul Wingle, vice president of individual and family plans at Aetna, said more subsidies are also available, although not everyone knows they are eligible. For example, there used to be a cut-off for aid to make 400% or more of the poverty line on exchanges now, but that barrier has been removed, Wingle said. “If you’re talking about people who are near or in retirement age, they tend to get older, and because they are older, insurance costs are higher,” he said. “This aid is especially helpful for them.”

Individuals interested in analyzing plans can check out federal or state exchanges or Healthcare.gov, Aetna and eHealth also have portals on their sites for comparing plans. This isn’t the only time one has the option of signing up for a plan.

Americans get 60 days after losing a plan to enroll in another, so workers planning to retire early at some point this year can use the open enrollment period to research what they can do later. What do you want? “You’re still able to get the same plan at the beginning of the year,” Teeter said. Open enrollment is a great time for anyone, including those who have already retired, to review their current coverage and adjust based on their needs and budget.

as well How to Pay for Health Care Costs in Retirement

Health care is important to most people, but especially those who will soon be on a fixed budget and are not yet eligible to sign up for Medicare. Medical costs become more prominent as a person ages, and these expenses tend to increase from year to year. According to Fidelity estimates, the average couple retiring at age 65 can expect to spend $300,000 on health care alone, which does not include long-term care.

Medical expenses are also one of the top causes of bankruptcy, and it can make or break a person’s retirement goals — or security.

“You don’t want to go into retirement and then have a health crisis that wipes out a significant portion of your retirement savings,” Wingle said. “Sometimes you don’t plan for your health for something to go wrong. There’s always a risk though.”

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