Insuring Healthcare After Retirement
During your 20’s, start saving for post-retirement healthcare and other costs of living. Open a Health Savings Account and an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to save tax-free. It’s never too late to start saving or increase your savings rate. Motivate yourself with rewards for reaching milestones.
Dental, Hearing, and Vision
Medicare doesn’t provide coverage for routine dental, hearing, or vision care, except for limited coverage available to participants in Medicare Advantage plans. Consider purchasing insurance to cover these expenses and asking healthcare providers for discounts available to retired patients.
Unless enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, enroll in Part D drug coverage. Enrollment is not automatic. Register for Part D when you are 65 to avoid a late enrollment penalty. Check annually during open enrollment periods to optimize coverage.
Doctors and Hospitalization
Registration for Medicare is mandatory when you turn 65 even if still employed. Delayed signup can cause a gap in coverage and result in penalties. Remember to notify Medicare when ending your pre-retirement insurance coverage. Set up an automatic payment plan since prompt payment prevents loss of coverage.
Medicare Advantage is an optional alternative to traditional Medicare (Parts A, B, and D). Medicare Advantage has slightly more benefits and lower premiums than traditional Medicare, but fewer participating doctors and pre-authorization is required to see specialists. About 50% of Medicare beneficiaries chose Medicare Advantage.
Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage only cover short-term stays in skilled nursing facilities for those meeting requirements like being hospitalized for 3 days prior to admission to a nursing home. Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance by mid-50’s to cover nursing care and assisted living facilities. Delaying purchase will result in higher premiums and risk health conditions that disqualify coverage.
Participants in traditional Medicare can purchase supplemental insurance, known as “Medigap” from private insurance companies. Medigap covers traditional Medicare’s 20% co-pay, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs. Medigap is available from insurance companies at monthly charges that vary by plan and insurer. The best time to get Medigap coverage is at age 65. After 65, Medigap may not be available or could be more expensive.
How to Plan for Health Care Costs in Retirement
What Your HSA Can Do For You
Finding Prescription Drug Coverage
Pros and Cons of Medicare Advantage
Understanding Long-Term Care Insurance
Make-or-Break Medicare Mistakes
Nuts and Bolts of Medicare Advantage
Understanding Social Security Regular Retirement and Medicare
Getting Started with Medicare
Comparing Original Medicare & Medicare Advantage
AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) – articles.
ABA (American Bar Association) – articles and videos.
CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) – articles and videos.
SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program) – directory of insurance counsellors.
Solace (Find Solace, Inc) – directory of healthcare advocates.